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Tech stocks pick up the pace

Oracle and semiconductor stocks lead the Nasdaq and the Dow higher after tech stocks fall a day earlier.

Tech Industry
Technology stocks picked up speed Thursday, after falling a day earlier, with Oracle and semiconductor stocks in the lead.

In other investor news, the government issued the most current unemployment figures, and Microsoft unveiled its latest business software.

The Dow rose 39.30 points to close at 10,911.94, and the Nasdaq gained 25.99 points to finish at 2,110.49.

"We've had a couple of bad days in the market, and now it looks like we're bouncing," Larry Seibert, who oversees a fund for Barrett Associates, told Reuters. "April lows were the lows of the year, and a lot of people missed (the chance to buy cheap) stocks before the run-up. Now they're thinking about adding shares."

Oracle was the most-traded stock on the Nasdaq, with its shares closing at $15.30, up 79 cents, or 5 percent. Among other high-volume movers, Cisco Systems rose 26 cents to $19.26.

The semiconductor sector was one of the biggest gainers; CNET's Semiconductor Index was up 2.56 percent. Intel shares gained 41 cents to $27.01.

At a press conference in New York, Microsoft unveiled Office XP, the first of three major products the software giant will release this year. Office XP is a set of applications aimed at the corporate market. Microsoft shares lost a penny to close at $69.18.

U.S. jobless claims rose for the third straight week, a sign of continued weakness in the labor markets. New claims rose to 419,000 for the week ended May 26, up from a revised 411,000 in the prior week. Economists had expected the figure to decrease.

The unemployment report for May will be released Friday. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to dip slightly.

Citrix Systems named Mark Templeton as CEO, a position he left almost a year ago. Analysts' reaction to the news was mixed, but investor opinion wasn't: The stock dropped $1.19 to $23.90.

Shares of teen retailer Alloy Online shot up 85 cents to $11.60 a day after the company topped estimates for its first quarter. Alloy executives on Wednesday told analysts and investors to expect 2001 revenue figures to be at the high end of the previously predicted $140 million to $145 million range.

StarMedia Network rose 76 cents to $2.77 on news that BellSouth is investing in the online media company. BellSouth, which paid $25 million for an 11 percent stake, saw its shares rise 98 cents to $41.23.

Aside from those movers, trading was relatively quiet.

Amazon.com was up $1.03 to $16.69. AOL Time Warner gained $1.09 to $52.19, and Yahoo rose 44 cents to $18.11.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.

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