Investors continued to cash in high-priced tech stocks today, motivated by profit shortfalls that many believe could be compounded by widely expected interest-rate hikes.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 114.90, to 3819.91, shortly before 1 p.m. On Tuesday, it had plunged 229 points -- its worst one-day point decline ever.
Some investors shifted money to undervalued stocks, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average up 89.97, or 0.8 percent, to 11,087.90. Exxon Mobil Corp. led the gain.
The Standard & Poor's Index of 500 companies fell 0.88 to 1398.54. On the New York Stock Exchange, 15 stocks rose for every 14 that fell.
Analysts said that investors were continuing to cash out of stocks that had surged last year, after holding them just long enough to miss the tax year.
"After experiencing a year like last year, which was unprecedented by most measures, it's not surprising that there'd still be profit-taking," said Ric Dillon, a managing partner of Loomis, Sayles & Co., a District-based firm that oversees $2 billion in equities.
The selling was fueled in part today by a report from Amazon.com that despite strong sales, the online book pioneer is still not making money and may not in the foreseeable future.
"That raises a question of the impact of the Internet on the economy," Dillon noted. "It has certainly revolutionized the economy. But the question is: Who benefits from that revolution? Clearly, the consumer has. But will the companies?"