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Greenspan gloom hits Euro stocks

And Alcatel staggers after profit warning

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It couldn't last - four successive days in which the Street did well. Yesterday's falls (Nasdaq down 44 to 1646, Dow down 216 to 7874) was caused, it seems, by non-US sentiment concerning Alan Greenspan's Congress speech on Wednesday. It was shrugged off in the US, but Asian and European markets fell, reflecting his wait-and-see approach to interest rates. Tech stock winners were few: AMD (up 6 per cent on analyst optimism), and Ascend Communications (up 6 per cent on news of a pending partnership with Alcatel to develop faster Internet equipment), but Alcatel fell $12 1/16 to $19 1/4 (that's a drop of 39 per cent) after the French telecom equipment company said it would not meet expectations because of Asian and Russian investment cuts. The Paris Bourse must have blushed at this old friend going down so fiercely -- and it dragged the sector with it: Nokia, Ericsson and Nortel all shed a few pounds. In Silicon Valley, National Semiconductor put on 4 per cent, Adaptec 5 per cent, Syquest 11 per cent, NCD 4 per cent Losers were Excite (down 9 per cent); Lycos (down 7 per cent); Cisco (down 5 per cent); AOL, 3Com, Intuit (down around 4 per cent); and, Dell , IBM, Microsoft (down around 3 per cent). On the IPO front, Internet auctioneer eBay, underwritten by Goldman Sachs, is going ahead. Whereas most Internet content providers rely on ads and sponsorship, eBay takes a cut from sellers and buyers, and even makes a small profit doing so. Future Media Productions, a CD maker going to DVD, was founded in 1994 and is looking for $40 million in its IPO. It was founded by the three co-founders of Packard Bell. By the way, the Packard Bell name was chosen because it was thought that the names of Packard and Bell had a good resonance in the industry, and not because of any connections. So there you are. ®

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