Dell dropped 2 15/16, or 3.5%, to close at 80 1/16. It appeared to have stabilized Thursday following Wednesday's sharp losses, but found itself back on the defensive today. Unwinding of options may have contributed to volatility in the stock, and volume was heavy at 32.4 million shares.
Dell was a weak link in a mostly positive day for the tech sector in general and the Internet sector in particular. Net stocks flourished following some positive comments from prominent
led the way, up 12 3/8, or 14%, at 101 7/8.
added 6 1/2, or 5%, at 135 3/8, while
closed up 4 5/8, or 3%, at 160 3/8.
Other top point gainers included
, up 7 1/8, or 7.3%, at 104 1/4; and
, up 8 3/8, or 8.3%, at 109.
closed 6 points higher at 116, benefiting from its minority stake in
(VIGN:Nasdaq), which debuted today. Vignette, which provides Internet relationship management software, was priced at 19 Thursday and closed 23 11/16 points higher at 42 11/16.
(WEBT:Nasdaq), which develops software to monitor and manage Web site traffic, also had a successful debut. The stock was priced at 13 and closed 14 1/16 higher at 27 1/16.
In little more than one week of trading,
has seen the ups and downs of being public. Prodigy closed 7 1/16, or 18%, lower at 32 1/2 and has now giving back around 18 points from its high of 50 5/8 reached Tuesday.
Also among the day's winners was
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
analyst Mark Edelstone said that recent losses represented a buying opportunity. Rambus added 8 1/4, or 13%, to 69 3/4. But the stock gave up 7 1/8 Thursday and has fallen from a Jan. 8 high of 109 15/16.
According to published reports, movie director
has acquired a 5.8% stake in
. Ticketmaster, which sells tickets to concerts and other events on the Internet, is owned by
. Ticketmaster closed 1 5/8 higher at 36.
How Does Microsoftland Sound?
To end the week, we'll leave you with a tongue-in-cheek look at what Microsoft should do to solve its problems with the government, according to
Salomon Smith Barney
analyst Neil Herman. Remember, this is meant to be light-hearted.
"Perhaps Microsoft should consider using some of its cash (or Bill Gates' cash) to buy an island in the Caribbean or the Pacific to create the independent state of Microsoftland and move Microsoft to this island. The island would be a tax haven, so Microsoft would pay much less in corporate taxes. At the same time, all those Microserfs would pay very little in taxes. A little icing on the cake is that the descendants of wealthy Microserfs would not have to pay about 55% of their inheritance to the U.S. government as taxes. Finally, Microsoft would not have to worry so much about antitrust cases and potential remedies."