Techs Tossed Around by Bonds

Infospace.com beats estimates, but strong economic reports slow down the sector.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Nothing like a failure in the Treasury market to shake things up in the technology sector. Weakness in bonds weighed on tech stocks, though the market staged a recovery late in the session.

The day started well, with yet another strong earnings report from an Internet company, this time

Infospace.com

(INSP) - Get Report

. The provider of Internet infrastructure systems reported a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share vs. a 14 cent loss estimate. Infospace.com was one of the leading point gainers in the

Nasdaq

, up 24 11/16, or 21%, at 143 5/16.

But two strong economic

reports this morning fueled a major selloff in the bond market. As bonds came apart, stocks gave back gains and pre-weekend profit-taking ensued, with the tech sector taking a hit as well. That selloff was short-lived, however, and the market appeared to stabilize once the

Chicago Board of Trade

Treasury futures market closed at 3 p.m. EDT.

The back-and-forth trade left the Nasdaq up slightly on the day, but lacking direction as the week ended. There are any number of conflicting factors leaving investors uncertain of the next move. Earnings reports from most Internet companies have been better than anticipated, so there is no compelling reason to sell due to lack of progress. But with most Net companies already reporting earnings and running up in advance of those earnings, much of the good news is out of the way and some are looking for traders to take profits and correct. However, the Net stocks have shown much resiliency and weakness is often seen as a buying opportunity, as a

TSC

poll

indicated today.

Looking ahead,

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

should make some noise on Monday with its anticipated unveiling of a new version of RealPlayer. The streaming media company will also announce partnerships with a number of companies. RealNetworks was one of the top-performing Internet stocks this week. It closed up 6 1/2, or 3%, to 221 1/2 today and gained 41 1/2 points for the week.

Price action in

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

has been nothing short of impressive over the past week. The e-commerce company that allows users to name their own price for airline tickets among other things, got a lift when a number of brokerage firms initiated coverage of the stock on Monday. Then, the company announced it had recorded its first million-dollar sales day for airline tickets on Wednesday. It doesn't seem to bother investors that the company has a market cap above $23 billion. The stock closed today up 24 9/16, or 18%, at 162 3/8, almost double from the 88 level where it closed last Friday.

The other big winner today was

Marimba

(MRBA-Nasdaq), an Internet software management company. In its first day of trading, Marimba closed up 40 3/4, or 203%, at 60 3/4.