SAN FRANCISCO -- Technology bellwethers were the big newsmakers in today's session, but with mixed results.

There was conciliatory news from


(MSFT) - Get Report

, a negative earnings outlook on


(DELL) - Get Report

, a positive report on

America Online


and news that



might be looking to make a purchase. In addition, a potential price cut from


(INTC) - Get Report

sent its stock lower.

Microsoft closed higher on reports that it was looking to begin settlement talks with the

Justice Department

and 19 states, a settlement that the Justice Department apparently would be open to. Microsoft ended up 1 5/8, or 1%, at 172 13/16, though investors apparently felt better about the news earlier as the stock reached a high of 174 15/16.

Dell tumbled after

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

trimmed its first-quarter revenue estimate on the boxmaker to 15 cents from 17 cents. That compares with a 16-cent estimate from

First Call

. Dell closed down 2 3/8, or 6%, at 37 7/8. Dell was most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, with 55 million shares changing hands.

America Online closed 10 11/16 higher, or 9%, at 129 15/16 after

ING Barings

raised its price target on the stock to 180 from 100 and raised its earnings estimate for 199 to 36 cents a share from 32 cents a share. That compares to the 34-cent a share estimate from

First Call


News that Yahoo! was looking to buy

sent up 37%. It closed 31 1/2 points higher at 116 1/2. Yahoo! was down 5 or 3% at 165.

Intel slid on a couple of items. There were reports that the company would announce that it was lowering the price of its recently introduced Pentium III by 20%. The news should not have come as too much of a surprise to industry

watchers, as reports of the chips sales have not been glowing.

PC Data

also reported today that retail sales of processors powered by

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

chips exceeded 50% of U.S. retail sales for the first time in February 1999.

One Day Removed

A day after its initial day of trading, shares of



closed 9 3/8 lower, or 12%, at 70 3/4. In related news,

Women First Healthcare

, a San Diego based Internet firm that also targets women, has filed for an initial public offering. Women First Healthcare, which focuses on the changing health needs of middle-aged women, can be found at