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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Nasdaq blasts past 5,000

Internet and telecom stocks led another rabid rally in the technology sector Thursday, pushing the Nasdaq composite up and over the 5,000-point mark. For the day it gained 150 points, its fifth-largest, single-day gain in history.

But the good news doesn't end there.

The Dow Jones industrial average scooted up 154 points to close at 10,010.73 and the small-cap Russell 2000 index closed at record high of 606.05.

The Nasdaq closed at 5,046.86.

"There appears to be some renewed interest in some of the beaten down stocks, we saw that yesterday with a rally in drugs and retail stocks and we are seeing a follow-through rally today," said Joseph Barthel, chief investment strategist, Fahnestock & Co.

On the economic front, wholesale inventories rose 0.7 percent in January, the government said, slightly higher than the 0.4 percent gain expected by analysts.

Cisco Systems led the networking sector higher, gaining 7 1/4 to 139 5/8. 3Com Corp. (COMS) trimmed 2 23/64 to 68 5/64 and Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) closed up 7/8 to 68 7/8.

America Online (NYSE: AOL) moved up 6 to 60 7/8 after chairman Steve Case said the company was considering a partnership with AT&T (NYSE: T), and the stock was reiterated as a "strong buy."

AT&T shares closed off 3/8 to 52 5/8named recent-hire Mohan Gyani president and chief executive of its wireless services unit, just weeks before AT&T is set to sell part of it in a huge IPO.

CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) picked up 6 1/8 to 144 5/8 ahead of its earnings report. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) rose 6 1/4 to 183 1/4 while Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and Inc. (AMZN) shot up 11/16 and 5 3/16 a share, respectively.

Network Solutions shares jumped 71 1/16 to 494 and VeriSign (VRSN) soared 37 3/4 to 240 3//24 after a pair of analysts issued positive comments about their $21 billion merger.

Covad Communications (Nasdaq: COVD) rallied up 5 to 95 1/4 after announcing it will buy a provider of branded Internet access, in a deal worth about $387 million that will deliver complete broadband Internet services to its customers through company-branded access.

PictureTel Corp. (Nasdaq: PCTL) gained 3 11/16 to 14 1/16 after announcing it would provide IBM (NYSE: IBM) with a pan-Europe, Middle East and Africa videoconferencing service.

Intel Corp. (INTC) rose 3 7/16 to 118 3/8. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) moved up 4 to 57 1/2 and IBM Corp. (IBM) closed up 1 3/8 to 107 5/8.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) added 3 1/2 to 50 7/16; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) picked up 1 1/8 to 27 9/16; Gateway Inc. (GTW) trimmed 1/16 to 65 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) inched up 1/4 to 122 1/4.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) picked up 4 7/16 to 100 while Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) closed up 7/8 and 1 a share, respectively.