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Tech Industry

Midday Markets: Techs edge higher

Techs crept higher at midday on Wednesday. The Nasdaq edged up 3 to 2,562 and the @Net rose 2 to 326. The Dow Jones industrial average added 24 to 10,861.

Stocks made modest gains after the Federal Reserve decided Tuesday to hold the interest rates at 4.75 percent, but made clear that the central bank was leaning towards a rate hike in the near future. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4 to 1,338 and the small cap Russell 2000 gained 2 to 445.

Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) rose 2 1/16 to 65 3/16 after beating second quarter estimates.

BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) also gained, up 1 9/16 to 19 15/16, after topping expectations for its first quarter.

British Telecommunications Plc. (NYSE: BTY) climbed 8 1/16 to 176 3/4 after reporting a 36 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings.

Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC) added 3 15/16 to 63 5/8 after the computer services provider said it was increasing the size of its contract with St. Paul Cos. by $425 million.

Creative Computers Inc. (Nasdaq: MALL) increased 8 5/16 to 38 3/8 after announcing plans to distribute its remaining stake in uBid Inc. (Nasdaq: UBID) to its shareholders. UBid rose 2 1/2 to 48 1/2.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 4 1/4 to 39 13/16 after analysts worried about the PC maker's near-term prospects. Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) dipped 1/2 to 25 3/4. Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) slipped 1 13/16 to 94 3/16, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 1 15/16 to 236 9/16 and Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) declined 1 3/8 to 65 7/16.

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (Nasdaq: LHSP) gained 2 7/8 to 40 3/16 after earning 21 cents a share for its first quarter.

Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) advanced 6 7/8 to 119 13/16 after reporting a narrower third quarter loss and a declaring a two-for-one split. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) gained 2 15/16 to 137, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) added 3 5/8 to 136 1/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 2 1/16 to 158 7/8.

Theglobe.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TGLO) slipped 1 5/8 to 20 1/2 after the online community builder said it would sell another 6 million shares in a follow-on offering.

EBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) rose 7 3/16 to 196 3/4 after buying Billpoint, a credit card transaction company, and Krause, a collectible car auctioneer, for $275 million in stock.

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dipped 11/16 to 58 1/4 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) rose 7/8 to 20 1/4.

Among software makers, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) added 5/16 to 79 and Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA) gained 1 1/8 to 43 5/16.