Technology stocks fell for a third straight session as investors shifted money from the pricey shares that dominated trading in 1999 to blue-chip stalwarts such as Caterpillar, 3M and Procter & Gamble.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 130.61, to 11,253.26. The Dow's strongest component was 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing), maker of Post-It notes and Scotch tape, which rose 7 1/2, to 100 3/4, during Wall Street's regular session.
The Nasdaq composite index, dominated by technology stocks, fell 150.41, to 3727.13. It was the second-largest point loss in history for the Nasdaq, which has tumbled nearly 10 percent since closing at a new record on Monday.
Broader market measures were mixed, with the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rising 1.34, to 1403.45.
Stocks continued the reversal of fortunes that has marked Wall Street this week. Technology stocks, which helped the Nasdaq composite to an unprecedented 86 percent gain in 1999, have plummeted as investors collected profits.
Meanwhile, cyclical companies, which thrive in a booming economy but languished last year in the frenzy for technology stocks, are soaring.
"Investors are selling Yahoo to buy Caterpillar," said Charles Pradilla, chief investment strategist at SG Cowen Securities in New York.
Yahoo was among the Nasdaq's steepest decliners, plummeting 42-5/16, to 368-3/16. Qualcomm, the best-performing stock in the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor's 500 last year, fell 16 3/8, to 140-1/16.
While analysts again discounted much of the technology sell-off as long-overdue profit-taking, fears of lower earnings for two high-tech firms depressed the sector. Personal-computer maker Gateway warned late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profits would miss expectations because of a slowdown in sales. The company blamed year 2000 computer worries and component supply problems.
Gateway, which fell steeply in extended-hours trading Wednesday, bounced back today, ending up 4-11/16 at 59-11/16. But traders said the company's warning contributed to weakness in other computer makers' share prices. Dell fell 1-15/16, to 48, and Apple lost 9, to 95.
MCI WorldCom fell 4-1/16, to 47-3/16, after influential Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack Grubman lowered his earnings and revenue estimates for fiscal 2000.
Still, most analysts expect the sector to rebound. Selling this week has been exacerbated by investors' desire to delay capital-gains taxes until 2001. Once investors find themselves flush with cash, many will return to the sector that rewarded them so richly in 1999, said Larry Rice, chief investment officer at Josephthal & Co. in New York.
In the meantime, however, cyclical stocks thrived amid growing concerns that the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates in an effort to stave off inflation. Those stocks are viewed as safe havens that are less prone to interest-rate fluctuations than high-tech stocks.
Caterpillar rose 2 1/2, to 51 5/8; Procter & Gamble gained 4 3/4, to 107 7/8; and Exxon Mobil rose 4-3/16, to 85-3/16. Analysts applauded the move toward those long-neglected companies.
Technology stocks may suffer a difficult start Friday. Late this afternoon, Lucent Technologies said it expects first-quarter earnings to come in well below analysts' forecasts.