MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs return

Earnings sparked some enthusiasm among techs again Thursday, as pre-announcements and upside surprises brought the sector back to life. The Nasdaq rose 117.65 to 4,286.87, and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 116.34 to 11,150.26.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 20 to 589.62.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) reversed its losses at one point in the day after analysts raised their estimates on the Internet portal. By midday, the stock was down just 5/16 to 165 1/4. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 2 9/16 to 65 9/16 and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 1 1/16 to 63 1/4,

Internet commerce research firm Jupiter Communications (Nasdaq: JPTR) rose 7 3/8 to 29 5/8 after it said it expects first quarter revenue will be $16.5 million, up 175 percent from the year-ago period.

UK-based auction house QXL.com (Nasdaq: QXLC) was the surprise of the day; shares soared 38 11/16 to 61 after SG Cowen gave the company a "strong buy" rating, and slapped a two-year, $333 price target on the stock.

ATI Technologies (Nasdqaq: ATYT), a maker of graphics accelerator chips, which incorporate 3D and multimedia, rose 1 59/64 to 17 39/64 after it said earnings topped expected profits of 20 cents a share.

On the downside, shares in Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB) fell 3 1/4 to 57 3/4 after the company warned it expects first quarter earnings miss estimates.

In IPO news, i3 Mobile (Nasdaq: IIIM) priced its 5.1 million shares at $16, the top of its range of $14 to $16 a share, but had yet to trade.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), up 3 3/16 to 81 7/16, and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), up 1 45/64 to 55 5/8. Goldman Sachs said Thursday those two stocks are expected to hold up well in a rocky market.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1 1/16 to 87 7/16. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) lost 11/16 to 129 3/16.

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