Sideswiped by a whopping selloff in the Treasury market, the major market averages tumbled, but have managed to bounce well off their lows.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 73 to 9327.

The

S&P 500

was down 14 to 1239. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 26 to 2314. The

Russell 2000

was down 4 to 391.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was down 4 to 501.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down fractionally at 95.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 1 12/32 to 94 27/32, yielding 5.61%, off its session lows.

The March Treasury bond futures contract was recently down 1 7/32 to 120 22/32. The contract earlier today hit an eight-month low, noted William Keuffel, market strategist at

Optima Investment Research

.

One thing that's going on with the March bond contract is that on Monday it is replaced as the front-month contract by the June contract. Keuffel said that it would seem that some traders who are long the March contract aren't rolling their longs into the June contract, which "just sort of takes a leg out from under the market," he said.

As for stocks, they have come well off their worst levels of the session.

"The tech sector is holding up surprisingly well," said Keuffel. He pointed out the sector is particularly vulnerable to such a sharp jump in interest rates because of their already high valuations.

Around 2 p.m. EST, the March S&P 500 contract was trading 10 points above today's intraday low, which he said was a good sign considering the rout in the credit market. The contract was recently down 13.30 to 1240, 13.50 above its session low.

Keuffel pegged support for the March S&P 500 futures contract at 1223.50, and after that at 1215.50.

"It seems that stock market participants are taking a wait-and-see attitude to the selloff in the credit market," and perhaps viewing the selloff in bonds as being overdone, said Keuffel.

To say it's been a tough week in the Treasury market is a huge understatement.

The yield on the long bond rose seven basis points on Tuesday; eight basis points on Wednesday; and as much as 16 basis points today, "so that suggests something of a washout," Keuffel said.

The high yield on the 30-year bond today was 5.663%, Keuffel said.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 2,077 to 908 on 588 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,448 to 1,405 on 673 million shares.

On the NYSE, 125 issues had set new 52-week lows while 11 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 78x issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 24.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 17 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 3/16 to 86 3/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on 24 million shares. It was down 2 9/16 to 80 11/16.

1:53 p.m.: Broad-Based Decline Continues

Ugly. Horrible. Brutal. Repulsive. Homely. Offensive.

Those are all words that could describe the stunning hideousness of the Treasury market today, as the 30-year Treasury bond was in free-fall, sending stocks down sharply in response.

The long bond was down 1 31/32 to 94 8/32, yielding 5.65%. Meanwhile, the 10-year note was down 1 8/32 to 95 18/32, yielding 5.34%.

The major stock market averages have managed to pare their losses.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 124 to 9275. The

S&P 500

was down 22 to 1232. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 38 to 2302. The

Russell 2000

was down 5 to 390.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was down 6 to 500, while

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down fractionally at 95.

Not helping the situation for stocks was news that

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

chief U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien cut his recommended stock allocation in his model portfolio to 85% from 90% and raised cash to 15% from 10%.

Treasuries tumbled in part on fears of the

Federal Reserve

tightening interest rates later this year to cool down the economy. Right now it looks like the Treasury market is trying to beat the Fed to the punch.

Economic data released today was strong. The

Commerce Department

reported that

durable goods orders

jumped 3.9% in January after gaining 3.4% in December, a much stronger number than economists were expecting.

Elsewhere, the

National Association of Realtors

reported that

existing home sales

rose 0.8% to an annual rate of 5.07 million units in January.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 2,156 to 780 on 483 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,365 to 1,379 on 565 million shares.

On the NYSE, 117 issues had set new 52-week lows while 10 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 71 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 24.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 15 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 11/16 to 85 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on 21 million shares. It was down 2 1/4 to 81.

1:12 p.m.: Midday Musings: Stocks, Bonds Continue to Plunge; Wien Cuts His Equity Mix

12:04 p.m.: Treasury Selloff Pushes Stocks to Session Lows

Another horrid performance by the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond sent the major stock averages down sharply to their session lows late this morning before coming off the bottom.

The long bond was down more than a full point, off 1 2/32 to 95 5/32, yielding 5.59%.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 104 to 9295. The

S&P 500

was down 19 to 1234. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 33 to 2306. The

Russell 2000

was down 4 to 392.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was down 5 to 500.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down 1 to 95.

Meanwhile, in other news,

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

President and Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin uttered some jaw-dropping words at an advertisers' conference in New Orleans.

Karmazin was commenting on criticism of media industry consolidation by

Saatchi & Saatchi

big Allen Banks, who stated it represented a threat to advertisers and advertising agencies,

Reuters

reported. Karmazin said: "If Exxon and Mobil can combine, then why can't I buy

NBC

?"

Reuters

reported. The news agency reported that Karmazin said he believed "something will happen with NBC, maybe it will be spun off," that CBS would overpay for NBC, and that he would love to buy any of the other competing broadcasting networks, including ABC, which is owned by

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

, or

News Corp.'s

(NWS) - Get Report

Fox

network.

However, he said he was sure Disney wouldn't sell its network and he joked that News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch "doesn't sell -- he just buys everything," the news agency reported.

NBC is owned by

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

. Shares of GE were down 15/16 to 99 1/16, while CBS was down 7/8 to 36 9/16. News Corp. was up 1/16 to 28 11/16.

In addition to the Treasury market selloff, news that

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

chief U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien cut his recommended stock allocation in his model portfolio to 85% from 90% and raised cash to 15% from 10% didn't bolster the market's mood.

Renewed fears of an interest rate hike later this year to cool off the steamy U.S. economy was said to spark the selloff in Treasuries.

This morning the

Commerce Department

reported that

durable goods orders

jumped 3.9% in January after gaining 3.4% in December, a much stronger number than economists were expecting.

In the housing world, the

National Association of Realtors

reported that

existing home sales

rose 0.8% to an annual rate of 5.07 million units in January.

Market internals were hideous.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,939 to 782 on 318 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,149 to 1,232 on 379 million shares.

On the NYSE, 83 issues had set new 52-week lows while 9 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 55 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 22.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 9 million shares changing hands. It was down 1 9/16 to 86.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 14 million shares. It was down 2 3/16 to 81.

Tech Focus

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was leading the major tech indices on the downside. It was down 1%. Elsewhere, the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was down 3%, while the

Nasdaq 100

was down 2% and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was down 2%.

Internet book and music retailer

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was an outperformer in the world of cyberspace stocks, up 7 1/16, or 6%, to 118, thanks to on an upgrade from two analysts at

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

, which upped its rating on Amazon.com to strong buy from buy.

The upgrade by Keith E. Benjamin, senior Internet analyst, and Lauren Cooks Levitan, senior e-tail and retail analyst, comes in response to Amazon.com's announcement yesterday that it holds a 46% minority stake in

Drugstore.com

.

The analysts said the investment in Drugstore.com represents Amazon.com's first move into what it called "an exciting new product category." The analysts also said the potential for growth for online sales of consumable products is "tremendous."

Today is the last day of the

BancBoston Robertson Stephens Tech '99 Conference

.

TheStreet.com

has provided

coverage of the conference this week. The conference concludes today.

Meanwhile, among today's big Nasdaq losers was

BMC Software

(BMCS)

, which tumbled 5 1/4, or 11%, to 41 3/4.

TheStreet.com's

Herb Greenberg

wrote about the company

this morning. Also

Prudential Securities

downgraded BMC Software to accumulate from strong buy.

10:59 a.m.: Major Indices Mired in Negative Territory

In the eye-popping news department,

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

President and Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin said he would like to acquire rival network

NBC

and would "overpay" for it, according to headlines from

Reuters

.

Meanwhile, back in the stock market, stocks recovered modestly from an early plunge as a couple of sour bits of news helped send stocks down sharply out of the gate.

Karmazin made the remarks at an advertisers' conference in New Orleans,

Reuters

said. NBC is owned by

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

. Shares of GE were down 15/16 to 100 1/16, while CBS was down 5/8 to 36 13/16.

Further weakness in the bond market and news that

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

chief U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien cut his recommended stock allocation in his model portfolio to 85% from 90% and raised cash to 15% from 10% weighed on stocks.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was down 28/32 to 95 11/32, yielding 5.56%.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 61 to 9338. At its early nadir, the Dow had fallen nearly 70 points to 9329.82 before bouncing.

The

S&P 500

was down 11 to 1242.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 15 to 2325. The Nasdaq Comp bottomed at 2311.96, down 27.42 from yesterday's close. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 394.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 2 to 508.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up fractionally at 96.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

, which is a component of both indices, was up 10, or 9%, to 121, on an upgrade from

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

, which upped its rating to strong buy from buy. Meanwhile, today is the last day of the

BancBoston Robertson Stephens Tech '99 Conference

.

TheStreet.com

has provided

coverage of the conference throughout the week.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,629 to 860 on 205 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 1,781 to 1,252 on 253 million shares.

On the NYSE, 67 issues had set new 52-week lows while 8 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 39 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 21.

Among the stock market's notable losers today was

BMC Software

(BMCS)

, which tumbled 5 5/16, or 11%, to 41 11/16.

TheStreet.com's

Herb Greenberg wrote about the company

this morning. Also

Prudential Securities

downgraded BMC Software to accumulate from strong buy.

On the Big Board,

America Online

(AOL)

was most active with 7 million shares changing hands. It was down 7/8 to 86 11/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 12 million shares. It was down 1 1/2 to 81 3/4. Steven Milunovich, an analyst at

Merrill Lynch

, had cautious comments on Dell and the personal computer industry in general. Milunovich in a note said vendors' "growth objectives the next few years will prove hard to achieve, perhaps resulting in pricing pressure." As for Dell, he said, "Dell's superior model affords some protection but valuation remains an issue."

10:05 a.m.: Stocks Extend Wednesday's Losses

News that

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

chief U.S. investment strategist Byron Wien cut his recommended stock allocation in his model portfolio to 85% from 90% and raised cash to 15% from 10% helped send stocks tumbling early on, piling on to losses suffered yesterday.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 42 to 9358. The

S&P 500

was down 8 to 1245.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 16 to 2324. The

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 394.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was down 1 to 504.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 96.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was getting whacked again. It was down 21/32 to 95 19/32, yielding 5.56%, piling on to huge losses suffered in the last couple of sessions.

Meanwhile, Steven Milunovich, an analyst at

Merrill Lynch

, had cautious comments on

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

and the personal computer industry in general. Milunovich in a note said that he was concerned that vendors' "growth objectives the next few years will prove hard to achieve, perhaps resulting in pricing pressure." As for Dell, he said, "Dell's superior model affords some protection but valuation remains an issue."

Dell was down 1 9/16 to 81 5/8.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Fort James , up 15/16 to 30 1/4

:

PaineWebber

raised its rating on Fort James to attractive from neutral.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, up 5 11/16 to 116 5/8

:

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

upped its rating on Amazon.com to strong buy from buy.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

American International Group (AIG) - Get Report, down 1 3/4 to 112 1/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

BMC Software (BMCS) , down 4 3/8 to 42 5/8

:

TheStreet.com's

Herb Greenberg

wrote about the company

this morning. Also

Prudential Securities

downgraded BMC Software to accumulate from strong buy.