The recent erosion in the prices of bank technology stocks had just begun to show signs of easing when the stock market began its broad-based decline.
"It has been a tough week in the market," said F. Mark D'Annolfo, analyst at Adams, Harkness & Hill, Boston. "Whether you are looking at the last week or year-to-date, technology has gotten really hammered, particularly higher-multiple stocks."
As for the overall market, the Dow Jones industrial average was 230 points lower for the week in late trading, while the Nasdaq composite, reflecting the prices of many banking technology stocks, was off 16 points on the week. The Nasdaq has lost more than 11% since its peak of 1,400 points in January.
Goldman Sachs' technology index of U.S.-traded firms is at its January level of 115 points.
Much of the recent stock market pressure stemmed from the Federal Reserve's move March 25 to hike the overnight bank lending rate by a quarter point, to 5.5%, in an effort to keep inflation under control.
"People fundamentally like the (technology) companies" but feel the need to keep "cash balances a little higher than normal," Mr. D'Annolfo said.
The shares of Transaction Systems Architects Inc., Omaha, fluctuated wildly last week-for no discernible reason, according to analysts-and were trading 81.25 cents lower late Friday. Transaction Systems Architects is down more than 30% since Jan. 1.
Gary R. Craft, analyst at Robertson, Stephens & Co., San Francisco, said the company, along with other electronic commerce providers who recently went public, suffered from "a very weak sector in technology generally."
Sterling Commerce and Intelidata Technology Corp., among others, continued to set new lows, he said, even though "there is nothing fundamentally wrong" with their businesses.
Dallas-based Sterling Commerce has lost 24% since the first of the year. .
Henry Blodget, analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. New York, initiated coverage of Sterling Commerce and a competitor, Harbinger Corp. of Atlanta, with "outperform" ratings.
"It's a cautiously favorable rating," he explained.
Both transaction automation companies are going through major transitions as they gear up for business-to-business commerce over the Internet. "It's not clear how they will end up," Mr. Blodget said.
Sterling Commerce, the more established and highly valued of the two, was trading at $28 Friday afternoon, down 62.5 cents from the previous week's close.
Shares of Atlanta-based Harbinger were at $21, down 50 cents on the week.
Intelidata, a Herndon, Va.-based developer of home banking software and screen phones, was 62.5 cents lower on the week late Friday, trading at $4.25. The stock has declined more than 43% since January.
Intelidata has called a press conference for Tuesday to announce MoneyClip, a smart card security and on-line payment system it developed with several other vendors. Officials said MoneyClip can be installed in laptop or personal computers, essentially turning them into personal automated teller machines.