Midday Report: Nasdaq Falls as More Techs Warn of Slowdown

Nasdaq Composite Index stocks began the week on a down note, as a number of tech companies, including the largest maker of fiber-optic cable, weighed in with gloomy outlooks.

At midday, the Nasdaq was down 18.38 at 1,872.53. Intel(Nasdaq: INTC) led the drop, falling US$1.94 to $25.94.

PSINet (Nasdaq: PSIX) was next, slipping 53 cents to 19 cents after sayingits common stock is likely to be worthless after a financial restructuring.The Internet services company also said it had hired an adviser to help restructure its debt.

Blue Chips Retreat

Blue-chip issues, meanwhile, erased morning gains as investors awaited aTuesday rate cut from the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Averagewas down 19.03 at 9,804.38, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index wasdown 1.89 at 1,148.65.

Federal Reserve policymakers will meet Tuesday, and Fed-watchers areexpecting a cut of at least 50 basis points in the central bank’s targetovernight lending rate. Some are looking for a cut of 75 basis points tojump-start the economy and spur corporate spending.

Corning Gains

Corning (NYSE: GLW) was up 71 cents at $23.89, even after reducing itstargets for full-year revenue and earnings. The company, the biggest makerof fiber-optic cable and parts, said it expects to meet its targets for thefirst quarter ending in March and sees continued growth in its markets.

Lucent (NYSE: LU) was up $1.15 at $11.14 after the company announced an agreement withVerizon (NYSE: VZ) covering wireless Internet services. Verizon was down 37 cents at $46.96.

The E-Commerce TimesIndex was up 0.25 percent in midday, fueled by gains in Webvan (Nasdaq:WBVN), E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP) and PetSmart (Nasdaq: PETM).

Amazon, Priceline Lower

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) was down 61 cents at $10.38 following news that a group of Wall Street analysts are asking the giant e-tailer for detailed information about its finances. The analysts want Amazon to provide evidence to back up the statement that it has enough money to continue operations for the rest of the year.

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) was also down, losing 9 cents to reach $2.03 at midday, after a group of shareholders sued thee-tailer for allegedly conspiring to drive up Priceline’s stock priceafter its initial public offering in 1999.

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