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MARKET CLOSE: Dow, techs buckle ahead of GDP numbers

Technology stocks lost their momentum in late trading Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite fell 81 points to 3,630.17. The Dow Jones industrial average closed off 179 points to 10,945.50.

Analysts said investors were skittish ahead of Thursday's Gross Domestic Product report.

"The Nasdaq is oversold, so there is some bargain hunting out there," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. "We have Gross Domestic Product figures coming out tomorrow so we are seeing sideways trading for that reason."

BMC Software (Nasdaq: BMCS) made nice gains after topping estimates in its latest quarter and receiving several upgrades. Its shares closed up 3 11/16, or 9 percent, to 44 1/2.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) fell 1 3/8 to 68 while Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) lost 3 3/8 and 4 1/4 a share, respectively.

Nextel Communications (Nasdaq: NXTL) lost 7 13/16 to 103 3/4 after it beat the Street with a loss of 83 cents a share for the first quarter, citing strong subscriber growth and high average revenue per customer.

ICG Communications (Nasdaq: ICGX) picked up 1 1/8 to 27 after it came in a dime short of estimates with a first quarter loss of $2.52 a share Wednesday as it continued to build its network.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) fell 1 1/8 to 50; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) shed 7/8 to 29 3/8; Gateway Inc. (GTW) lost 1 3/4 to 55 3/16 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed off 7 to 121 5/16.

Shares of (Nasdaq: KOOP) surged up 1 1/4 to 3 19/32 after it renegotiated its pricey portal pacts with America Online and

AOL shares ended off 1 to 60 while Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) and eBay Inc. (EBAY) fell 5 3/8 and 4 5/16 a share, respectively. Inc. (AMZN) added 1 1/16 to 53 1/2 ahead of its first-quarter results.

Intel Corp. (INTC) tumbled 4 3/16 to 120 13/16. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) lost 5 1/2 to 82 and IBM Corp. (IBM) slid 1 11/16 to 110 13/16.

Among leading network-equipment stocks, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) moved up 3/4 to 66 3/4; Lucent Technologies (LU) added 9/16 to 64 1/2; 3Com Corp. (COMS) shaved off 7/16 to 38 3/4 and Nortel Networks (NT) closed up 5 1/8 to 117 5/8.>