Midday Report: Nasdaq Slides as Techs Warn, Employment Rises

Technology stocks were dragging the Nasdaq Composite Index lower for a second dayFriday, after semiconductor giant Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) cut 5,000 jobs and warned that resultsfor the current quarter may fall below its already-lowered expectations.

Reports that the U.S. economy added 135,000 jobs in February — more thanexpected — while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 percent, alsoweighed on stocks. The news might mean that Federal Reserve policymakers will notbe aggressive in cutting interest rates to spur economic growth.

At midday, the Nasdaq index was down 100.43 at 2,068.30, led by declines inCisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), down US$2.25 to $20.56, and Intel. Cisco fell following reports that it plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce amid slowing demand for its products.

Other measures were also lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down177.01 at 10,681.24, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index down 27.44 at1,237.30.

Pray Tell, Intel

Intel, down $3.56 at $29.69, lowered its revenueoutlook for the first quarter ending in March by 15 percent to $6.5billion, 25 percent below the fourth quarter’s $8.7 billion.

The news came a day after another tech giant, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), issued a lowered outlook for the quarter. Yahoo! continued its slide onFriday, trading down 63 cents at $17.06.

Webvan, Amazon Higher

The E-Commerce TimesIndex was down 4.17 percent at midday. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) andonline grocer Webvan (Nasdaq: WBVN) were the only issues in the index toshow gains.

Amazon began the day lower, after the New York Times said the U.S. Securities andExchange Commission was investigating stock sales by chairman Jeff Bezosthat reportedly took place just before a negative analyst report on thecompany was released.

A company spokesman told the E-Commerce Times on Friday that Amazon was unaware of anyinvestigation, and noted that Amazon shares ended higher on February 6th,the day the report was released.

Loudcloud (Nasdaq: LDCL) reportedly rose 31 cents to $6.31 in its first dayof trading. The Sunnyvale, California-based Internet consultant was said tohave twice lowered the price for its shares, after delaying the offeringbecause of a weak market for Internet stocks.

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