Oracle Plans New Company to Manufacture Low-Cost Computers

Meanwhile, stocks ended mostly higher as the Nasdaq added to yesterday's big gains.
Author:
Publish date:

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

CEO Larry Ellison told a crowd of analysts visiting his firm today that the No. 2 software maker is setting up a new company that will make a cheap desktop computer.

The 64 MB

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

-based machines will run on

Linux

operating software -- a product that has emerged as an alternative to

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

ubiquitous Windows software -- and use

Netscape's

Internet browser as well as "100% Oracle software," Ellison said.

Ellison, a longtime archrival of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, said the new desktop would cost $150 without a monitor and $250 with one. "This thing with a monitor costs less than a copy of Microsoft Office," he said. He declined to give further details.

Other Oracle executives shied away from expanding on Ellison's surprise announcement, except to say that the database-software company needs to move into new markets to sustain growth. "Oracle, like many big technology companies, needs to diversify to stay ahead," says Mark Jarvis, Oracle's senior VP of marketing.

The news came on the day Oracle subsidiary

Liberate Technologies

(LBRT) - Get Report

went public. Liberate's software helps deliver Internet-based applications and content to set-top boxes and other Internet appliances. Priced above range at 16, the stock closed up 4 3/4, or 27%, at 20 3/4 after rising as high as 22 9/16.

Oracle gained 5/8 to 37 11/16.

--

Medora Lee

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

rallied and added to the gains it enjoyed

yesterday, as the market awaits the release of two big economic reports tomorrow.

Decliners outpaced advancers on both the

New York Stock Exchange

and the

Nasdaq Stock Market

.

Meanwhile,

drugstore.com

(DSCM:Nasdaq) enjoyed an eye-popping advance in its trading premier. The online pharmacy was up 179% to 50 1/4. Its 5 million-share IPO was priced yesterday above-range at $18 by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

On the economic front, tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EDT the

Employment Cost Index

for the second quarter and the advance estimate of second-quarter

gross domestic product

are slated for release.

The lack of market-unfriendly comments from

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

in his testimony before the

Senate Banking Committee

relieved investors and was cited for some of the market's gains.

Semiconductor stocks turned in another stellar performance. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

soared 2.8%. SOX component Intel was up 2 11/16 to 70 5/16. It was most active on the Nasdaq, with 41.4 million shares changing hands. Among some of the other components of the index that turned in beefy gains:

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

, which was up 5 11/16 to 148 11/16;

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

, which was up 3 11/16 to 61 9/16; and

Novellus

(NVLS)

, which was up 3 1/4 to 64 1/8.

On the NYSE, decliners beat advancers 1,591 to 1,341 on 692.7 million shares. On the Nasdaq, losers beat winners 2,007 to 1,874 on 956.5 million shares.

On the NYSE, 127 issues set new 52-week lows while 53 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 95 issues set new 52-week highs while new lows totaled 77.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active, with 27.9 million shares changing hands. It was up 4 5/8 to 102 13/16.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

Earlier...

3:00 p.m.: Most Major Averages Cling to Slight Gains

Major market barometers were mostly higher going into the final hour of trading, while

drugstore.com

(DSCM:Nasdaq) was up 189% in its debut.

2:03 p.m.: Nasdaq Leads Modest Climb

drugstore.com

(DSCM:Nasdaq) was flying in its trading debut, soaring 210%, while the major market averages, led by the tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

, were higher.

1:39 p.m.: Midday Musings: Greenspan Gives All Clear But Market Internals Lack Cheer

11:59 a.m.: Nasdaq, S&P 500 Climb Into Positive Territory

Amid the question-and-answer portion of

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan's

appearance before the

Senate Banking Committee

, stocks were mostly lower overall, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

shrugged off early weakness and has climbed into positive territory.

10:56 a.m.: Stocks Modestly Lower as Greenspan Begins Testimony

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

has begun his

Humphrey-Hawkins

testimony before the

Senate Banking Committee

, repeating the prepared remarks he delivered last week before the

House Banking Committee

, while stocks continued softer.

9:57 a.m.: Stocks Open Slightly Lower After Solid Climb Yesterday

Stocks were slightly softer early on after enjoying a solid advance

yesterday.

This story contained an error when it was originally published. Please see TSC's

Corrections and Clarifications for more information.