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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs bewitched into mild rally

Double-witching helped conjure up a tech rally at midday Friday, The Nasdaq gained 17.17 to 2,638.60, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 72.50 to 11,036.34.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index gained 3.67 to 284.17.

The expiration of stock futures and options known as "double-witching" added volatility and helped support the market's gains. Anticipation of next Tuesday's Federal Reserve meeting, and the usual wane into the weekend kept volumes low despite the monthly double-witching day.

Portal Software (Nasdaq: PRSF), up 3 3/8 to 48 walloped First Call's estimated loss of 14 cents a share for its second quarter, losing only a penny a share.

Agile Software (Nasdaq: AGIL) bounded up 32 to 53 in initial trading after it volleyed over its expected range of $18 - $20 and priced at $21.

MyPoints.com (Nasdaq: MYPT) gained 9 1/8 to 17 1/8, after 5.0 million shares priced at $8 each, a drop from the $10-12 per share range it previously anticipated.

Lionbridge Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: LIOX) jumped 26 percent, up 2 5/8 to 12 5/8 in debut, after it dropped the number of shares it had planned to sell from 4 million to 3 million, and the IPO priced below range.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 7/16 to 84 1/4, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) added 13/16 to 78 1/8, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) sunk 1/16 to 18 1/16.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 1/8 to 122 13/16, Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) fell 1/2 to 88 3/4, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 9/16 to 43 5/16 and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) rose 5/16 to 24 5/16. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) also moved down, 1/16 to 58 11/16.

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) rose 3/8 to 64 3/16, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) put on 63/64 to 63 15/64 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) gained 1/8 to 23 1/2.

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) rose 1 11/16 to 140 7/8 while Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) put on 2 1/4 to 108 3/8, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was down 5/8 to 95 3/8. Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 1 to 42 11/16, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), up 1/8 to 32 1/8, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), up 1/2 to 37 3/4, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG), up 11/16 to 30 5/8. CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) rose 1 13/16 to 80 9/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 9/16 to 36 9/16, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) fell 5/8 to 47 9/16, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) gained 9/16 to 73 15/16.

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