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Tech bellwethers boost Street

Wall Street stocks surge more than 100 points in early trading, boosted by strong earnings news from several technology bellwethers.

Wall Street stocks surged more than 100 points in early trading boosted by strong earnings news from several technology bellwethers which offset the growing turmoil surrounding the anticipated report on the Presidential scandal.

The Dow Industrial Average fell as much as 96.55 shortly after the opening bell before turning around and was up 113.54 points, or 1.49 percent, to 7,729.08. The technology-heavy Nasdaq posted a gain of 31.92 points, or 2.01 percent, to 1,617.25.

Yesterday, the Dow plunged 249.48 points, or 3.17 percent, to 7,615.54. The drop came on the heels of Wednesday's loss of 155.76 points and Tuesday's single-day record gain of 380.53. The blue-chip index has fallen 18.4 percent since hitting a high of 9,337.97 on July 17. If the Dow drops down 20 percent from the July high, it will be considered a bear market.

Several technology bellwethers reported uplifting earnings news after the market closed yesterday. Chipmaker Intel said that revenues for its third calendar quarter will be 8 to 10 percent stronger than expected due to stronger demand in North America and Europe. Another chipmaker, National Semiconductor, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss today, saying its first rise in orders in a year might signal a bottoming out of the chipmaker's business downturn.

Database software firm Oracle reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street's earnings estimates, fueled by a sharp increase in database sales.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei index posted its largest single-day point drop of the year falling 749.05 points, or 5.11 percent, to close at 13,916.98 on uncertainty about President Bill Clinton's future.