story continued to be a focus in the Internet sector, but weak market conditions were pressuring the rest of the sector early on.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was off 5.52, or 0.9%, at 641.86 after reaching a high of 647.05 early on.
Late Thursday, AT&T said it was considering strategic options relating to its 58% interest in Excite@Home. In response to rumors that
had been pinned as a possible buyer, AT&T said it has not forged any definitive deals.
In early trading, Excite@Home was up 3 5/8, or 9%, at 45 1/8. AOL was up 3 3/16, or 3%, at 107 1/4, and AT&T was off 5/16, or 1%, at 43 3/16.
Elsewhere, the Net sector was being dragged down by an overall weak market. A downgrade of
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
to long-term attractive from buy was affecting the tech sector. In addition,
cautioned that the company's fourth-quarter growth would be at the low end of the forecasted 10%-to-13% range. Dell was recently trading down 1 9/16, or 4%, at 40 1/4, while H-P was off 3 5/8, or 4%, at 87 1/8.
In addition, the markets were just hit with a strong economic report from the
National Association of Purchasing Management
, which rekindled fears that the
would raise interest rates when it meets next week.
Net bellwethers were mostly lower.
was off 2 21/32, or 1.6%, at 176 27/32.
was off 2 11/16, or 3%, at 77 1/4.