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TECH STOCKS: Markets Slide On Profit-Taking

Declining retail sales and rising unemployment claims cause major indexes to decline.
After getting off to a sluggish start, the major indexes never found any momentum Thursday. Profit-takers took advantage of Wednesday's big gains, and the sell-off also was fueled by disappointing reports that showed retail sales in decline and new unemployment claims on the rise. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan had little new to say during testimony before the Senate, and Comcast's bid to acquire Disney appeared to have minimal impact beyond the stocks of those two companies (Disney was up slightly, Comcast was down more sharply).

The big tech vendors pretty much echoed the markets in general, with Cisco Systems down 19 cents, or 0.78%, to $24.05; Microsoft down 20 cents, or 0.74%, to $26.95; Intel down 25 cents, or 0.81%, to $30.74; and Dell down 12 cents, or 0.36%, to $33.57. Siebel Systems provided an anomaly, rising 64 cents, or 4.68%, to $14.32. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 33 cents, or 0.88%, to $37.25, with 70.3 million shares changing hands.

Our InformationWeek 100 fared even worse than any of the major indexes, dropping 3.01 points, or 0.88%, to close at 338.08, just behind the Nasdaq, which fell 16.05 points, or 0.77%, to close at 2,073.61. The Dow was down 43.63 points, or 0.41%, to 10,694.07, and the S&P 500 dropped 5.65 points, or 0.49%, to close at 1,152.11.

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