Stocks Take a Break After Rallying Earlier in the Week

The Dow is being pressured by a drop in AT&T.
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The major market barometers were mostly lower late this morning as the market pauses after surging for three consecutive sessions.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 62 to 10,665.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

was the biggest drag on the Dow, falling 3 3/8, or 6%, to 53 3/8. Yesterday Ma Bell made an unsolicited bid valued at more than $62 billion, including debt, for

MediaOne

(UMG)

, topping

Comcast's

(CMCSA) - Get Report

friendly $54 billion offer, which Comcast made last month.

TheStreet.com

wrote about the situation in a story

this morning.

AT&T was most active on the

New York Stock Exchange

with 23 million shares changing hands.

MediaOne jumped 7 3/8, or 11%, to 76 7/8, while Comcast rose 1 7/16 to 67 7/16.

The

S&P 500

was down 10 to 1349.

The

Russell 2000

was down fractionally at 429.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 5 to 664.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,479 to 1,147 on 315 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 1,715 to 1,697 on 430 million shares.

On the NYSE, 33 issues had set new 52-week highs while 11 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 44 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 31.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 9/32 to 95 5/32, yielding 5.59%.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 12 million shares changing hands. It was up 5/16 to 42 1/4.

Tech Focus

The

Nasdaq 100

was down 1%, while the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was also down 1%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down 3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was down fractionally.

Gateway

(GTW)

, which after the close yesterday posted first-quarter earnings of 62 cents a share, 2 cents higher than the 23-analyst view and ahead of the year-ago 48 cents, was down 1 9/16 to 68 3/8.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

analyst Ashok Kumar downgraded the stock today to buy from strong buy. Kumar, in a research note, pointed out that Gateway "has missed Q2 consensus estimates for the last two years. Given that Q2 is back-end loaded, with the last month representing 40% of unit shipments, we think it is prudent to revise our estimates down from $0.61 to a consensus estimate of $0.55."

In the Newsletters

3Com

(COMS)

expects several new manufacturers to clone its PalmPilot palm-sized PC before the end of the year, executives said at the

Demo Mobile 99 Conference

held in San Diego, according to

Computer Reseller News

.

3Com was up 2 1/2, or 11%, to 24 7/8.

10:58 a.m.: Stocks Remain Modestly Lower in Lackluster Trading

In a violently volatile week which began with fear and has shifted to sanguinity overall, the major market averages were taking a break so far today and were mostly lower at midmorning.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 54 to 10,673. The biggest drag on the Dow was

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

, which yesterday made an unsolicited bid valued at more than $62 billion, including debt, for

MediaOne

(UMG)

. This topped

Comcast's

(CMCSA) - Get Report

friendly $54 billion offer, which Comcast made last month.

TheStreet.com

wrote about the situation in a story

this morning.

AT&T was down 3 1/8, or 6%, to 53 5/8. Ma Bell was most active on the

New York Stock Exchange

with 18 million shares changing hands.

Meanwhile, MediaOne jumped 7, or 10%, to 76 1/2. Comcast was up 1 1/2 to 67 5/8.

The

S&P 500

was up 7 to 1352. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 10 to 2552. The

Russell 2000

was down fractionally at 429.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 6 to 666.

Overall, "the climate's pretty good," for the market, said Peter Coolidge, managing director of trading at

Brean Murray Foster Securities

, citing in part solid earnings this quarter and continued merger-and-acquisition activity.

Coolidge said he's not looking for the market to do too much today.

The feeling is that this quarter has been the best in terms of upside earnings surprises in a while, Coolidge said.

One of this quarter's upside surprises was delivered by

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, which posted much better-than-expected results Wednesday after the close and powered the market sharply higher yesterday. Big Blue was padding its gains this morning, up 7/8 to 195 3/8.

On the earnings front today, drug titan

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, in line with the

First Call

30-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 47 cents.

Merck was down 2 1/4 to 75 5/8. The

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

was down 1%.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 7/32 to 95 4/32, yielding 5.59%.

On the Big Board, decliners were beating advancers 1,381 to 1,089 on 227 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners and losers were tied at 1,5875 on 314 million shares.

On the NYSE, 27 issues had set new 52-week highs while 10 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 34 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 23.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 9 million shares changing hands. It was up 9/16 to 42 7/16.

9:56 a.m.: Stocks Take a Breather After Three Sessions of Gains

Stocks were softer early on, taking a break after three straight sessions of sizable gains.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 47 to 10,680.

The

S&P 500

was down 6 to 1353. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 18 to 2544. The

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 428.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 6 to 654.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 6/32 to 95 3/32, yielding 5.59%, in the wake of yesterday's selloff.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Vodafone (VOD) - Get Report, up 2 to 188 5/8

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

priceline.com (PCLN) , up 9 11/16 to 86 1/16

: Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of priceline.com, naming it to its recommended list.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

America Online (AOL) , down 4 9/16 to 146 3/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Knight/Trimark Group (NITE) , down 5 to 110

.