BERLIN -- Next Friday in Oslo, Norway, the winner of this year's
Nobel Peace Prize
will be announced, and one thing is for certain: Europe's tech and telecom stocks have done their collective best not to win.
The coming week is likely to be anything but peaceful for investors with fat technology-media-telecom, or TMT, portfolios, following the precipitous drop of some shares late Friday. Europe's leading technology index, Frankfurt's
Neuer Markt Nemax 50
fell 286.50, or 5.7%, to 4713.6, after dipping as much as 7% at one point.
After a slew of earnings warnings from U.S. sector leviathans such as
, the footing of Europe's leading techs was tenuous at best, and last week many Neuer Markt heavyweights got slammed with double-digit losses.
, the e-commerce darling that just listed on the
Nasdaq Composite Index last week, actually shed a quarter of its total value in Frankfurt on Friday, before closing down 15.80 euros, or 22%, at 55.49 ($48.40).
While many European investors are probably dreading the coming roller coaster ride starting Monday, U.S. investors with international mutual funds that favor TMT shares such as the
J.P. Morgan European Equity Fund
Merrill Lynch EuroFund A may need to strap themselves in, too.
"I imagine things will stay rather dicey," said one Frankfurt-based trader.
Although Neuer Markt stocks have always been notoriously squirrelly, the damage late Friday eventually even dragged down Germany's blue-chip techs.
fell 1.90 euros, or 1.3%, to 144.90,
dropped 14.40 euros, or 5.6%, to 243.60, and semiconductor maker
fell 3.09 euros, or 5.5%, to 53.33.
Unfortunately, telcos may provide little support next week for equity markets bludgeoned by bloodied technology shares because the downgrade of
creditworthiness from AA- to A- by
Standard & Poor's
Friday will still be fresh on all minds. The move was largely expected, but it should remind investors just how much Europe's telcos have forked out recently for third-generation wireless licenses.
That could mean the coming week could get rather ugly for TMTs. But according to Gertrud Traud, an equity strategist for
in Frankfurt, investors might just need to keep their heads down and ride things out a little longer. Traud terms the "earnings warnings in the U.S. that have unsettled the markets" a "temporary burden"; things should begin to normalize once earnings season comes to a close.
That's probably good advice, considering no one is likely to win the Nobel Prize for bringing peace to the world's equity markets anytime soon.