Market Update: Tech Stocks Swimming in Red in Late Morning - TheStreet

After a mixed open, both the

Nasdaq Composite Index and the

Dow Jones Industrial Average were lately swimming in red.

The Dow opened strong and has bounced around since then, swinging right around the break-even point. On the positive side,

ExxonMobil

(XOM) - Get Report

was the brightest blue-chip, but with 18 of the 30 industrials in the red, it was an uphill battle. Tech names

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

weighed down the index. The Dow was last off 5 yo 11,083.

Today's market is absorbing a combination of triple-witching -- the quarterly expiration of index options, index futures and equity options -- and a lower-than-expected

consumer price index number.

Over on the Nasdaq, things started bad and have been getting progressively worse. The index was last off 57 to 3855, led lower by

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, which was down $4.06 to $80.88 after announcing third-quarter earnings yesterday. Sure, those operating margins look good, but as

TheStreet.com's

Joe Bousquin explains, investors are reacting negatively to slow software sales.

Other big cap tech names were following Intel, Microsoft and Oracle.

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

was lately off $3 to $114.50, while

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

Biogen

(BGEN)

were also lower.

Internet plays were weaker, while small-caps coughed up yesterday's gain. The

Russell 2000 was last off 6 to 533.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index continues to have a terrible September, and year for that matter, dropping 8 to 812 this morning.

Sector Focus

Oil stocks continue to be red-hot. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

hit another record high this morning, scraping past 554 right out of the bell. At last check, it was up 20.5 to 551.3, which is a 3.9% gain. Blue chip ExxonMobil,

Chevron

(CHV)

and

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

all helped the index power out more gains, as crude oil futures continue to rise.

October crude oil futures on the

New York Mercantile Exchange

were last up $1.003 to $35.10, as investors react to tension between Iraq and Kuwait in the Middle East.

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Bonds/Economy

The 10-year Treasury note was lately off 5/32 at 99 16/32, and yielding 5.818%.

Yesterday, an early rally in the bond market after a surprisingly friendly reading on inflation at the wholesale level, morphed into a selloff that moved the 30-year bond's yield decisively higher than the 10-year note's yield for the first time since January.

TheStreet.com

wrote a separate article on the steepening

Treasury curve.

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