Interest Hike Has No Sudden Impact On Tech Stocks



The long-awaited interest rate hike by the Federal Open Market Committee caused more market anxiety in its anticipation than its realization.

The increase to 5.25% bore little impact on the technology issues, as the Nasdaq gained 32.80 on more than a billion shares traded to end the day at 2,752.37. The Dow faltered slightly, losing 16.46 to 11,283.30, and the S&P inched up 3.28 to 1363.50.

Leading the InformationWeek 100, a select sample of influential technology companies, was MicroStrategy (MSTR), which rose 3-3/8, or 10.3%, to 36-1/8. Siebel Systems (SEBL) announced a two-for-one stock split early in the day, causing shares to rise 5-3/16, or 8.4%, to 67-1/16.

SGI was the poorest performer on the 100 yesterday, dropping 1-9/16 or 12.6%, to 10-7/8 after company CEO Richard Belluzzo resigned abruptly Monday amid rumors that he was heading for an executive position at Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Microsoft improved 5-3/4, or 6.65%, to 92-3/16, as rivals IBM (IBM) and Sun (SUNW) jointly announced plans to discontinue work on the JavaOS for Business operating system. IBM fell 2-7/16, or 1.96%, to 122, while Sun dropped 13/16, or 1.09%, to 74.

Leading the charge among Internet stocks was Eloan Inc. (EELN), which gained 6-3/8, or 27.3%, to 29-3/4 a day after it acquired Bank of America's 80% stake in online car-loan site CarFinance.com. Amazon.com (AMZN) was up 1-15/16, or 1.43%, to 20-5/16, while eBay (EBAY) fell 5-9/16, or 4.47%, to 118 7/8. America Online (AOL) slid 1/4, or .25%, to 98-3/4.

ERP vendors remained relatively stagnant, with SAP (SAP) slipping 1/8, or 0.39%, to 32-1/4; JD Edwards gaining 11/16 or 4.30%, to 16-11/16, and PeopleSoft closing down 1/16, or 0.43%, at 14-3/8.

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