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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Triple witching stirs tech rally

Triple witching motivated techs to stage a mild rally at midday Friday. The Nasdaq rose 39.86 to 2846.58, and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 82.95 to 10820.41.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 3.00 to 306.41.

On the broader markets, investors bid up stocks amid "triple-witching" expiration of futures and options contracts. Bonds also rose as the dollar recovered strength against the yen. Y2K concerns were also in the news Friday, as Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan assuaged fears that the computer glitch would cause problems. He added that market uncertainty and bottlenecks in the industrial pipeline could occur.

In economic news, housing starts in August rose 0.4 percent, the Commerce Department said. The rise was higher than analysts had predicted, and came despite a recent rise in mortgage rates.

eBay Inc.(Nasdaq: EBAY) tumbled 7 1/16 to 144 11/16 after news a network of electronic commerce Internet sites, including Microsoft Corp., Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 1 7/16 to 44 7/1, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), up 1 to 47 3/4 and Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), up 9/16 to 37 15/16 are forming an alternative to its online auction site. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 1 1/2 to 95 1/2.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained 1 7/16 to 164 7/8, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1 11/16 to 85 7/8 and Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dropped 7/16 to 64 13/16. Other Net notables included:, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), down 5/8 to 29, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) up 1/4 to 27 1/8. CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) rose 2 5/16 to 86 9/16.

Vitria Technologies (Nasdaq: VITR) shot up 27 15/16, or 175 percent, to 43 15/16 Friday after pricing its 3 million-share offering at $16 a share.

Tibco Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TIBX) was down 1/8 to 35 5/8, though it posted a third quarter loss of 3 cents a share Thursday, much better than loss of 6 cents a share First Call was expecting.

Cypress Semiconductor rose 10 percent Friday on news it will receive half the proceeds from the IPO of QuickLogic Corp., which set offering at 6.667 million common shares with a projected price range of $8-10 per share Thursday.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) skipped up 2 3/16 to 89 7/8, Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) jumped 3/16 to 64 3/16 and AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) slipped 1/8 to 45 3/8.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) jumped 15/16 to 130 15/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) added 2 1/8 to 87 1/16. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) climbed 3 to 49 7/8 and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) was up 1/2 to 24 1/2. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) advanced 1/16 to 76 7/8.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) added 9/16 to 71 1/4, Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) hopped 9/16 to 69 13/16 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) lost 3/16 to 27 1/2.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) jumped 1 3/8 to 71 7/8, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) put on 1 1/16 to 83 11/16, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) skipped up 1/4 to 20 1/4.