The techs are falling! The techs are falling!
The big shots of the dead-tree media jumped into the Chicken Little business with both feet today as
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
ran prominent stories suggesting that the once-invincible technology sector has turned all too vincible. The
turned to noted
, whose view of the techs is grizzlier than ever.
"In real terms, a bear market has begun," Biggs told the
. "I believe the tech cycle has peaked."
But Biggs has been to that mountaintop before, calling corrections at various points as the market has continued to rally. A
Dec. 16 story in
pointed out Biggs' Oct. 17 call on
, when he said stocks "will go down, not up." As you may have noticed, stocks went up. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed at 6268.35 Dec. 16 -- the day Biggs called for a 10% to 30% correction -- and since has gained 10%, closing yesterday at 6896.56.
Still, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Biggs clearly retains considerable influence on the Street. The tech-laden
Nasdaq Composite Index
plunged more than 23 points by midday, putting it more than 10% away from its Jan. 22 high of 1388.06. The
Nasdaq High Technology Index
plummeted more than 14 points to about 488.
Tech bearishness isn't the only game in town today, with the wider markets still volatile ahead of Tuesday's
policy meeting. The Dow and the broader
fared better than the Nasdaq indices, but both measures were heading sharply lower by midday. The February
Consumer Price Index
offered mixed signals, with the total rate up 0.1% more than a consensus estimate of 0.2%. The core rate, though, came in as expected with a 0.2% gain. The mixed report pushed the market's favorite button of late: "When in doubt, sell."
Responding to the
story outlining a possible takeover bid for
by the U.K.'s
Cable & Wireless
big upside earnings surprise late yesterday led to an upgrade today by
, which took the software company to buy from neutral. ADBE shares gained 3 5/8 to 38 1/2.
By John J. Edwards III