Tech Sector Remains Depressed

Amazon.com was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster day for the sector.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The spluttering sound you are hearing is that of the tech engine running our of gas. Which is funny because gasoline prices are heading up thanks to a recovery in the crude oil markets.

The day started on a weak note for technology stocks after several lackluster quarterly earnings reports Thursday night. A pre-open upgrade of Net darling

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

by

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

did help some Net stocks at first but by the close most had given up ground. The big winner was Amazon.com itself, which rallied 22 3/4, or 14%, to 190 after DLJ raised its price target to $280 a share.

Hardware vendor

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

squeezed past analyst expectations but the company's warning Thursday evening that earnings could be affected the rest of this year by lingering Y2K concerns and economic woes in Asia added to the fear that other hardware and PC makers will continue to face severe pricing pressure. Add a downgrade from

Merrill Lynch

analyst Steve Milunovich and it is little wonder that Sun fell 5 9/16, or 9.2%, to 55. It was the most active stock on

Nasdaq

.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Hewlett Packard

(HWP)

also ended lower. IBM closed down 7 1/8, or 4%, at 170 5/8 while Hewlett Packard closed down 3/8, or 0.5%, at 70 3/8.

Splash Technology Makes a Splash

Splash Technology

(SPLH)

, maker of computer color-printing products, rose to its highest level since Jan. 26 after better-than-expected earnings.

The company earned 13 cents per share in the first quarter, nearly double

First Call

's estimate of 7 cents.

Splash shares ended up 2 1/2, or 40%, at 8 3/4.

Onsale Shares for Sale

Online retailer

Onsale

(ONSL)

tumbled on worries that the company's efforts to gain market share will further erode profits.

The company reported a wider-than-expected 28-cent loss late Thursday and said it would waive transaction fees for customers of its

atCost

business, which sells computer-related goods at wholesale prices, and increase marketing expenses. The announcement was met with many analyst downgrades Friday.

Shares dropped 4 3/8, or 12.5%, to 30 5/16.

Stock Buyback

When in doubt, buy back. That strategy paid off big for

Adobe

(ADBE) - Get Report

. The shares of the graphics software maker rose 3 1/8, or 5.5%, to 59 7/16 after the company said it would buy back up to 5 million shares, or roughly 8% of shares outstanding, over the next two years.

Document management software maker

Documentum

(DCTM)

also rose, partly on its stock buyback announcement. The company said late Thursday when it reported earnings that it would buy back up to $20 million worth of stock. Documentum ended up 1 5/8, or 13%, at 14 1/4.