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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Techs follow Cisco down

    Technology stocks tumbled Monday after a news article cast doubt on one of the sector's bellwethers.

    The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 147.44 to 3669.38. The S&P 500 dropped 8.46 to 1424.17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.77 to 10603.63.

    The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 11 to 491.29.

    But trading was markedly light, continuing a trend of slow activity, as institutional investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of earnings from tech leaders, economic numbers, and a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

    "With today's volume, it feels like the market's not even open," said Adam Weisman, managing director at Wit SoundView.

    Techs were dragged lower by Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), down 5 to 62 3/4, after a Barron's report questioned the network equipment maker's valuation.

    Merger news was also driving techs Monday. Qlogic (Nasdaq: QLGC), down 25 3/16 to 74 3/4, is paying $1.7 billion, a hefty premium for Ancor Communications (Nasdaq: ANCR), which was up 7 to 38 3/16.

    Japanese company NTT Communications (NYSE: NTT), down 1/4 to 66, will buy Verio (Nasdaq: VRIO), up 22 3/8 to 58 5/16, for about $5.5 billion.

    JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) fell 5 7/16 to 88 3/8 Monday after announcing it bought Fujian Casix Laser Inc., its first venture into China.

    White Pine Software (Nasdaq: WPNE), up 5/16 to 15 7/8, is changing its name to CUseeMe Networks and will trade under its new symbol (Nasdaq: CUSM) by May 15.

    Shares of legally troubled online music company (Nasdaq: MPPP) revived 3 1/4 to 13 5/8 after announcing a licensing agreement with BMI.

    Integral Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISYS) tumbled 1 15/16 to 15 1/2, or 18 percent Monday after a downgrade followed reports of slowing growth in Friday's quarterly report.

    Chordiant Software (Nasdaq: CHRD) picked up 4 11/16 to 10 1/8. The company unveiled the latest version of its business software, which now extends to Palm Pilots and Web-enabled phones.

    Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 1 15/16 to 69 13/16 as investors awaited its proposal in response to the government's break-up plans, expected for Wednesday.

    Among major tech companies scheduled to report quarterly results this week, Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) fell 6 3/16 to 95 11/16, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) slid 1 5/16 to 47 15/16 and Computer Associates (NYSE: CA) declined 6 3/16 to 46 7/8.>