Wednesday, April 05, 2000

Markets rebound from rout

Tech selloff was start of elevator day

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fueled by an exodus from all things technological, Wall Street went into a stomach-churning rout Tuesday, with the Nasdaq composite index and Dow Jones industrials each dropping more than 500 points.

        But the stampede reversed as buyers returned in search of bargains, and most stocks ended the turbulent day with only moderate losses.

        The stock market's most volatile day ever came amid a collapse of the euphoria over high-tech issues that had driven the Nasdaq to unprecedented gains in recent months.

        Analysts couldn't point to any one factor in Tuesday's massive selling, but most said the purge was long overdue.

        The huge swings in both stock prices and emotion made clear that many individual investors are thinking mainly of short-term profits.

        “I fundamentally don't trust tech stocks, and it's been to my detriment,” said Keith Meyer, an investor from Green Township. “It all seemed like a paper tiger to me.”

        Mr. Meyer didn't buy or sell any stocks Tuesday. But with the Nasdaq plunging, millions of investors dumped their technology holdings before finishing lunch. In the afternoon, market-watchers saw attractive prices that brought them back into many of those same companies, analysts said.

        At the end, Nasdaq closed down 74.79 points at 4148.89 after falling as much as 575 points. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average followed the same pattern, falling 504 points before closing down only 46.85 points at 11,175.08.

        “Hopefully we're at the bottom of this, but really it's anybody's guess,” said Mike Garfunkel, a vice president at Prudential Securities, in mid-afternoon. “There's no rhyme or reason to this.”


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