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MARKET CLOSE: Earnings, rate cut boost investor confidence

Technology stocks took flight in late trading Thursday, sending the Nasdaq composite up 103 points, or 5 percent, to close at 2,182.02.

The Dow Jones industrial average scampered up 78 points to finish at 10,693.58.

"The market's beginning to buy the scenario that the interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve are going to help," Gregory Nie, technical analyst at First Union Securities, told Reuters. "We've successfully navigated earnings so far, although a lot of Wall Street's expectations had been lowered coming into this."

IBM's (NYSE: IBM) shares rallied up $7.97 to $114.47 after its outlook for 2001 renewed enthusiasm for the tech sector and Wall Street analysts cheered the company's first-quarter results. Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "recommended list."

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) moved up $1.20 to $32.48, and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) picked up $1.16 to finish at $29.01.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained $2.59 to $68.02 while Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) tacked on $2.39 and $2.13 a share, respectively.

Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL) rose $12.46 to $46.44 despite management's cautions that tough times lay ahead and analysts' lowered estimates. Siebel topped the Street estimate by a penny a share in its first quarter.

Storage firm EMC (Nasdaq: EMC) matched analysts' lowered expectations for the first quarter, and reiterated its outlook for 20 percent sales growth for 2001, sending its stock up 6 percent shortly after the opening bell. Its shares gained $6.15 to $42.81.

America Online Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) added 90 cents to $49.90. Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) picked up $1.38 to $20. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 55 cents to $15.99, and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) charged up $4.24 to $49.99.

Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) hustled up $2.93 to $25.72 after it topped reduced estimates in its second quarter. But analysts were split on the company's future, with some questioning its ability to stay on top of expectations.

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) moved up $2.02 to $30.49. Gateway (NYSE: GTW) rose 72 cents to $18.02, and Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) finished up $1.36 to $21.86.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) added $1 to $18.93, while Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) and Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) closed up $1.47 and 35 cents a share, respectively.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.