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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs shrug Cisco downgrade

A mammoth report on the networking sectors riled things up at midday Wednesday, but techs continued to rebound. The Nasdaq rose 75.12 to 2,516.42, or 3 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 12.61to 10,559.94.-

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 4 to 279.13.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), down 0.75 to 36.37, recovered slightly after taking a hit after a CIBC World Markets analyst said that the networking giant's glory days may be over.

As part of CIBC World Markets' Steve Kamman look at the networking sector, he upgraded Lucent (NYSE: LU), up 0.13 to 16.94, to "buy" from "hold" based on its current valuation, and called the company "an attractive harbor in what looks to be a choppy year for the sector."

Kamman also downgraded several networking equipment companies including Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), which was dropped to a "buy" rating from "strong buy," and Redback Networks (Nasdaq: RBAK), cut to "hold" from "buy." Juniper rose 5.18 to 122.38 and Redback gained 5.38 to 40.81 following the reports.

Slumping handset sales, semiconductor weakness, and a double-shot of warnings give analysts little to cheer about, ahead of Motorola's (NYSE: MOT) fourth quarter earnings. Shares were up 0.19 to 20.87.

BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS)gained over 14 percent, or 7.34 to 56.47 after inking a 3-year licensing deal with financial giant Charles Schwab & Co.

Semiconductor equipment maker Varian Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VSEA), up 1.44 to 25.56, cut its first quarter revenue numbers due to delivery delays and a slowing chip sector.

Barnesandnoble.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BNBN) was down 0.34 to 2.06 after pre-announcing disappointing fourth quarter and year-end results that inspired a rare "sell" rating.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 0.13 to 16.5, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.27 to 44.12 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 0.25 to 29.87.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 0.44 to 32.68, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up 1.75 to 33.25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1.69 to 53.5.