Red was awash on traders' screens as the major market averages fell sharply and widespread weakness spread throughout the market.
Elsewhere in gigantic-sums-of-money news,
reportedly will announce his retirement from basketball tomorrow.
Pulling back significantly are the Internet stocks.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was down 45, or 7.7%, to 542. It's just a paltry fall, however, considering the gauge jumped 17.7% yesterday.
"We'll see if this short downdraft picks up momentum," said Peter Coolidge, managing director of equity trading at
Brean Murray Foster Securities
, of the weakness in Internet stocks. "It might just be a one-day thing. It's just too soon to say."
Three cyberspace highfliers represented the Internet stock frenzy from yesterday's session:
rose a whopping 87 9/16 to 285 1/16,
jumped 71 3/4 to 272 and
catapulted 71 3/4 to 415 3/8. Today, Broadcast.com was down 43 3/4, or 15.4%, to 241, while CMGI was off 13 9/16, or 10%, to 123 and Yahoo! was down 23 3/8, or 5.6%, to 393.
Yahoo! will report earnings after today's close. The
24-analyst consensus estimate projects earnings of 16 cents a share.
previewed Yahoo!'s report in a
story this morning.
Speaking of earnings, this week marks the beginning in earnest of earnings season. Arguably the most anticipated earnings report is from
, which will report fourth-quarter earnings after the close. Intel has slumped today after a recent sharp run-up.
"Everybody's waiting for the Intel numbers after the close," Coolidge said.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was lately down 108, or 1.1%, to 9512. Leading the gauge lower were
The Dow can move higher in the very short term, said Gregory Nie, chief technical analyst at
Nie said the Dow can push above 9700 to 10,000 before an overbought condition really comes into force. From there he's looking for a 5% pullback.
Traders and investors will pay particular attention to earnings forecasts in this reporting season. High price-to-earnings multiples have caused many market participants some worry, considering many on Wall Street expect only modest profit growth for corporate America in 1999.
Nasdaq Composite Index
was lately off 56, or 2.4%, to 2329, and it looks like the tech-heavy gauge will break its streak of seven straight record closes. In tech, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was lately down 3%. The
Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35
was down 3% and the
was down 2.4%.
was down 18, or 1.5%, to 1246. The small-cap
was off 5, or 1.1%, to 428.
In the news, Peter Canelo, U.S. investment strategist at
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
, trimmed his recommended stock weighting to 65% from 70%. He also recommended clients to boost their cash weighting to 15% from 10%, with their bond allocation remaining at 20%.
Canelo cited three reasons for the reduction in the stock allocation, including technical factors and, most important in his view, "Internet froth." Net stocks are "beyond fundamental analysis," he said.
But Canelo also said he sees the Dow hitting 10,000 to 10,500 at some time this year.
Market internals, as expected on such a down day, were poor.
New York Stock Exchange
, decliners were beating advancers 1,983 to 898 on 436 million shares. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
, winners were beating advancers 2,357 to 1,389 on 630 million shares.
On the NYSE, 26 issues had set new 52-week highs while 30 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 124 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 23.
Among other market indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was up 0.9%, the
Amex Composite Index
was up 1.2% and the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was up 1.4%.
In the Treasury market, the 30-year bond was lately up 1 11/32 to 100 15/32, yielding 5.22%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early
Tuesday's Midday Movers
, a neat example of today's tech story, was lately down 31, or 13.9%, to 193 despite an announcement that it registered about 1.9 million new Web addresses last year. That's almost double the 960,000 domains registered in 1997. But, as Internet names have shown, news is often beside the point. The company, up 70.4% for the year through yesterday, registers Web addresses ending in .com, .net, .org and .edu.
Among tech stalwarts,
was down 4 9/16 to 100 5/16 and Intel, scheduled to post fourth-quarter earnings after today's close, was off 3 1/16 to 136 5/8. The 31-analyst forecast calls for $1.07 a share vs. the year-ago 98 cents.
On the blue-chip front,
was up 3 1/16 to 78 5/16 on reports its share of the U.S. 35-millimeter film market rose 5.1% in December.
, which is debuting its
today, was up 2 3/8, or 6.7%, to 37 5/8 after
upped it to market outperform from perform and
Salomon Smith Barney
upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. Infoseek was down 4 1/16 to 83. Alcoa was down 2 3/4 to 85 7/16 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter cut it to underperform from outperform.
In other news:
was down 20 3/4, or 13.3%, to 136 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform.
was up 9 11/16, or 11%, to 98 1/8 on word Sandy Robertson, founder and former chief executive of
, announced plans to invest in a new full-service investment bank on the Internet called
. E*Offering plans to provide E*Trade's online investors with greater access to subscribed public offerings and is expected to begin underwriting its first offerings later this year. E*Trade will own approximately 28% of the company and have an option to increase its ownership to 51%. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
was down 3 1/16, or 14.6%, to 18 after
last night saying it expects fourth-quarter earnings of 28 cents to 31 cents a share, 20% to 25% below the year-ago figure. The 10-analyst view called for 40 cents this quarter vs. the year-ago 38 cents. The company attributed the anticipated decline to an "unexpected further deterioration of airfreight export revenues for the U.S. and the U.K."
was down 7/16, or 18%, to 2 after saying it sees its second-quarter results falling to a loss of 29 cents to 33 cents a share -- below the four-analyst call for a loss of 4 cents. In the year-ago period, the company earned 2 cents. The company said it will return to profitability in the next two quarters.
was down 3 1/16, or 14.4%, to 18 1/4 after warning fourth-quarter earnings are likely to fall below estimates and come in at 30 cents to 35 cents a share. The company blamed lower-than-expected sales in northern and central Europe and continued pressure on gross profit margins in the company's North American components operations and certain Asian markets. The four-analyst estimate called for 42 cents vs. the year-ago 53 cents.
was down 4 1/4, or 15.2%, to 23 13/16 after saying it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 16 cents a share compared with the year-ago 24 cents. The 10-analyst forecast called for 21 cents. The company attributed the expected shortfall to start-up costs and temporary labor inefficiencies related to an increase in bakery sales, a greater-than-expected seasonal shift in the mix of bakery sales to lower margin products, and volatility in costs for certain bakery-related commodities, mostly cream cheese and manufacturing cream.