Business & Finance
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7/30/2003
04:57 PM
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TECH STOCKS: Is That Another Pop We Hear?

With AOL Time Warner reportedly under SEC investigation, techs hardly had a chance.

A continuing parade of bad news and lackluster earnings reports from tech businesses led all our indexes into the red Wednesday. Much of the losses were prompted by AOL Time Warner's fall of 4.5%, or 72 cents, to $15.17, after the Wall Street Journal reported its AOL unit is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Nasdaq-100 Index tracking stock fell .7%, or 23 cents, to $31.42, on volume of 54.7 million shares. Red Hat (RHAT) fell 3.4%, or 21 cents, to $6; Amazon (AMZN) fell 1.8%, or 73 cents, to $40.66; Intel (INTC) fell 1.7%, or 41 cents, to $24.49; Microsoft (MSFT) fell .9%, or 24 cents, to $26.23; and Applied Materials (AMAT) fell .7%, or 14 cents, to $19.22.

There were some winners; Siebel Systems (SEBL) rose 1.2%, or 11 cents, to $9.12 points; Dell (DELL) rose 1%, or 34 cents, to $33.13; and Cisco (CSCO) rose .6%, or 12 cents, to $19.28.

Our InformationWeek 100 fell 1%, or 2.53 points, to 252.94; and the Nasdaq index fell .5%, or 9.42 points, to 1,721.95. Less tech-heavy indexes fared a little better, closing essentially unchanged. The Dow fell .05%, just 4.41 points, to 9,200.05; and the S&P 500 fell .2%, or 1.63, to 987.65. Siebel announced today what it believes to be the largest implementation of customer-relationship management software ever. Its eBusiness Applications have been chosen as the core platform technology for a customer-relationship management consolidation initiative by Hewlett-Packard, the company says.

The effort could involve as many 40,000 seats. HP had been using a number of different CRM applications across its business channels, but by using Siebel CRM it will be able to create a unified system that will lead to reduced operational costs, according to Mike Overly, vice president of customer operations for HP Global Operations.

"We estimate that the Siebel deployment will return IT savings in the range of tens of millions of dollars," Overly said.

The effort will consolidate HP's direct and indirect sales channels, which include thousands of direct-sales representatives, marketing professionals, contact-center representatives, and hundreds of thousands of partner resellers, he said.

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