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Tech Stocks Fail to Part a Red Sea

The Nasdaq is giving back much of yesterday's gains.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Remember when tech stocks rallied more than just one day in a row? OK, it wasn't that long ago, but it looks as if Thursday's euphoria will give way to the darker side ahead of a long weekend.

Analysts' words of caution on

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

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are contributing to a sharp selloff in the

Nasdaq

following Thursday's gains.

Dell was off 8 5/16, or 8.2%, at 93 9/16.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

analyst Dan Niles slapped a price target of 80 on the PC maker, saying competitive pressures will cut fourth-quarter revenue. The analyst wrote that year-over-year revenue growth has slowed from 66% in July 1997 to 54% in July 1998 and about 39% in January 1999.

"We believe Dell's finish to the quarter was soft, leading to revenues of $5.2 billion relative to our $5.5 billion expectation," the report says. "During Q4, we believe that the competitive pressure intensified, especially in the corporate market." Dell is expected to report earnings of 31 cents a share when it reports Tuesday, according to

First Call

.

Dell's competitors were mixed.

Compaq

(CPQ)

was down 1 3/4 at 43 1/16, while

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

was up 1 5/16 at 76 9/16 and

Gateway

(GTW)

was down 4 at 72.

Lycos Holds Bid

Amid a sea of red,

Lycos

(LCOS)

was trading higher following Thursday's news that

CMGI

(CMGI)

expressed some reservations about Lycos' merger with

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

. Late Thursday, CMGI said it was "generally supportive" of the merger but "reserves the right to reassess its position."

Lycos was 1 1/4 higher at 104 1/2, though still far off its predeal price of 127, while CMGI was down 7 at 105.

CNet

(CNET) - Get Report

, which dropped sharply following the merger announcement only to rebound Thursday on strong earnings and a stock split, was down 6 3/4 at 122 3/4.

Downgrades Punish J.D. Edwards

Shares of

J.D. Edwards

(JDEC)

were sharply lower after the software developer was downgraded by a number of firms after warning of a shortfall in first-quarter revenue.

J.D. Edwards forecast earnings for the quarter at 2 to 4 cents a share, significantly below the 9-cent estimate from

First Call

.

Credit Suisse First Boston

,

BT Alex. Brown

and

Prudential Securities

downgraded the stock today.

J.D. Edwards was down 5 1/8, or 26%, at 13 3/4.