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MARKET CLOSE: Interest-rate fears ease; Dow, Nasdaq flourish

Technology stocks caught fire in late trading after some encouraging economic news wafted out from the Federal Reserve Board Wednesday. The Dow stormed up 133 points to 10,787.80 while the Nasdaq surged up 75 points to 2,564.94.

The Fed's "Beige Book," which surveys business activity nationwide, showed that inflation still remains in check. With the exception of new homes, prices remain relatively flat.

Intel Corp. (INTC) continued its strong rally, picking up 4 1/4 to close at a 52-week high of 76. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) inched up 1/2 to 18 15/16 and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) moved up 4 to 123 5/16.

Internet stocks were mixed Wednesday as America Online Inc. (AOL) shot up 5 15/16 to 90 15/16 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) rose 9/16 to 128 1/16. Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) picked up 13/16 to 35 7/16 while Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) fell 1 5/16 and 1/16 a share, respectively.

Red Hat Inc. (RHAT) rocketed up 38 1/16 to 52 1/16 in its debut.

eToys Inc. (ETYS) gained 7/8 to 31 3/8 after signing a three-year, $18 million marketing agreement with AOL.

Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) gained 1 13/16 to 42 1/4. Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) inched up 5/8 to 22 7/8 while Gateway Inc. (GTW) and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) shot up 5 3/8 and 4 5/16 a share, respectively.

Integrated Device Technology (IDTI) rose 2 9/16 to 18 1/2 after it inked a cross-licensing agreement with Intel.

Convergent Communications (CONV) fell 1/8 to 12 5/8 after it got a boost from its second quarter earnings, but remained short of its IPO price. Ravisent Technologies (RVST) added 3 13/16 to 14 1/4 after Bear Stearns started it with a "buy" recommendation.

Among other widely held technology issues, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) picked up 1 1/4 to 84 3/16; Oracle Corp. (ORCL) added 3/4 to 36 3/4; Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) tacked on 3 11/16 to 71 11/16; Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) rose 4 3/16 to 62 15/16 after topping estimates in its fourth quarter and Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) closed up 2 1/8 to 63 3/4.