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Markets rally to strong finish

U.S. markets end in positive territory as the Dow manages to stay afloat after seesawing in the late afternoon while the Nasdaq remains strong.

U.S. markets ended in positive territory today as the Dow managed to stay afloat after seesawing in the late afternoon while the Nasdaq remained strong.

After a mixed afternoon session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 18.9 points at 11,026.15. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 40.27 points to 2,566.66.

After the close, networking company Cisco Systems reported third-quarter earnings that beat estimates by a penny. The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, according to Reuters. For the quarter, the company said it made 38 cents a share, above the projected 37 cents by analysts surveyed by First Call, Reuters said. Shares of Cisco rose 2.62 to 111.87 ahead of the news.

Fellow networking companies 3Com and Ascend were mixed at the close. 3Com shares slipped 0.18 to 27.43, while Ascend rose 1.5 to 96.25.

In the technology sector, Internet-related stocks finished the day mixed after an overall strong run.

Online financial news site TheStreet.com, which earlier touched as high as 73, closed up 41 points, or 215.7 percent, at 60.

As reported yesterday, the company said it raised $104.5 million in an initial stock offering, according to Bloomberg News. TheStreet.com, which is backed by the New York Times and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, sold 5.5 million shares at the top of the $17 to $19 range set by Goldman Sachs. The company's stock began trading under the ticker symbol "TSCM" around 8:55 a.m. PST.

Shares of AOL jumped 11.31 to close at 139.62. Morgan Stanley Net analyst Mary Meeker upgraded her rating on the company's stock to "strong buy" from "outperform" earlier today, citing the company's branded-product lineup, according to Bloomberg. Meeker said AOL will form more alliances in the next four months.

Internet directories Yahoo and Infoseek continued to trade strong to the close, while Lycos and Excite remained in the red. Yahoo gained 18.31, or 11.76 percent, to 174, and Infoseek rose 1.5 to 53.87. Shares of Excite slipped 0.43 to 158.5, and Lycos lost 7 points to 98.25.

At yesterday's close, Lycos saw its shares soar 17.6 percent after reports from the Wall Street Journal said USA Networks may abandon its plan to acquire the Massachusetts-based Internet directory, according to Bloomberg News. USA Networks remained unchanged in the late afternoon.

Online retailers closed mixed, with eBay up 1.93 at 195.31, Amazon.com up 1.5 at 148.37, and uBid down 0.75 at 49.75.

Meanwhile, major computer makers, which enjoyed a bullish run yesterday, were mixed at the close. IBM shares were ahead 2.37 to 221, Apple fell 0.5 to 44.75, and Hewlett-Packard rose 0.18 to 80.56. Dell was up 0.37 at 42.62, Gateway gained 1.93 to 68.68, and Compaq slipped 0.12 to 26.12.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.