All good things must come to an end.

Thus, in a rather mild session, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

snapped its ten-session winning streak with a modest 1.12 drop to 6346.91. The decline ended the year's longest string of gains, though in recent sessions the Dow's climb had become precarious and narrow--even by its own thin standards.

Technology shares traded briskly, though mostly to the downside, as investors tried to scour reports from the


technology confab in Las Vegas. Among networking companies displaying wares at Comdex,

Cisco Systems

(CSCO:Nasdaq) dropped 1 3/8 to 63 3/8 and

Ascend Communications

(ASND:Nasdaq) fell 1 to 69 1/8.


(SHVA:Nasdaq), which had risen on speculation that either Cisco or Ascend might swoop in and purchase the firm, fell 1 + to 48 5/8 as takeover fever receded.


(MSFT:Nasdaq) gained 1 + to 150 3/8 to remain just a step ahead of


(IBM:NYSE), which added 1 7/8 to 146 7/8. Microsoft always seems to enjoy a Comdex bounce, and IBM is still benefiting from

Merrill Lynch's

analyst upgrade on Friday.

Two public offerings--one huge and one not-so-huge--received warm welcomes from Wall Street.

Deutsche Telekom

's (DT:NYSE) global offering gained more than $2 to finish the day at 21 +. The much-anticipated offering had recently been scaled back, but

Goldman Sachs

and other underwriters found little difficulty placing shares at the newly minted price. On the small end,

Rankin Automotive

(RAVE:Nasdaq) rose 3 7/8 from its offering price to finish at 13 7/8.

In takeover news,


(TTI:NYSE) jumped 4 + to 11 + after


(MAT:NYSE) offered a share purchase plan valued at $12.50 per share.

McDonnell Douglas

(MD:NYSE) skidded 4 + to 52 +, stung by the Pentagon's decision to eliminate the firm from an important fighter-jet contract.


(BA:NYSE), up 1 + to 93 +, and

Lockheed Martin

(LMT:NYSE), up 1 7/8 to 95 5/8, remained alive in the bidding contest. At stake for MD: Future business possibilities in the military sector. Despite $45 billion in backlogs, investors fear that MD is facing a difficult start to the 21st century. One possibility, not supported by share action, circulated among some traders: Boeing could make a takeover bid for MD.

Chips & Technology

(CHPS:Nasdaq), in one of those "only on Wall Street" moments, plunged 3 1/8 to 20 +. A

Hambrecht & Quist

analyst reported "concern" about the company's share price--then maintained his "buy" recommendation on the stock. Hmmm.


(DNKY:Nasdaq) plunged 2 7/8 to 4 3/16. The beleaguered apparel concern, which has been under pressure for several weeks, said it would have weaker-than-expected earnings moving forward.


, apparently caught off guard, lowered its investment rating to the rarely-seen "sell" from "buy."

Airlines smoked:


(UAL:NYSE) gained 2 3/8 to 52 5/8,


(DAL:NYSE) rose 2 5/8 to 77 +,


(AMR:NYSE), parent of American Airlines, jumped 3 1/8 to 88 + and

Continental Airlines

(CAI:NYSE) rose 1 + to 26 1/8.

In a giant momentum play exodus,

ABR Information Services

(ABRX:Nasdaq) plunged 11 3/8 to 44 5/8. Traders said momentum players bailed out of the stock on the heels of a recent executive dismissal.

By Dave Kansas