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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Nets rise above stagnant techs

    Yahoo's earnings kept Internet indices mildly positive while the rest of the market spun its wheels Thursday.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index eked out a gain of 3.49 to 2,860.70, the S&P 500 slipped 7.76 to 1,317.64, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 51.29 to 10,537.05. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index dropped 11 to 5,111.74 , and the @Net Index inched up 3 to 350.10.

    Financial markets are on tenterhooks waiting for the jobs report in the wake of the Federal Reserve warning that it was concerned about tight the labor market.

    "The Fed is concerned inflationary pressures will develop. There aren't any right now," said Bruce Steinberg, chief economist for Merrill Lynch, who expects an interest rate increase to come out of the Fed's monetary policy meeting in November.

    "But for the Fed to stop tightening, we need to see the unemployment rate stabilize," he said. (Nasdaq: PLRX) made its public trading debut, blasting up 10 to 26. Calico also did well with its IPO, gaining 42 to 56.

    Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose Thursday morning after analysts boosted its earnings euphoria with more bullish coverage. Shares were up 14 1/2 to 190 1/4.

    The rest of the Internet sector generally rode Yahoo!'s coattails to slight gains. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 4 7/8 to 87 5/16. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) dropped 1 5/16 to 118 11/16 and Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) was up 1 1/2 to 48 1/16.

    Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) unveiled plans to merge with Andromedia and signed partnerships with BroadVision and USWeb/CKS. Macromedia fell 3 17/32 to 51 1/2. USWeb/CKS (Nasdaq: USWB) fell 1 5/16 to 30, and BroadVision, Inc. (Nasdaq: BVSN) gained 2 3/4 to 163 3/4.

    24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM) slipped 3 1/4 to 40 1/2. C.E. Unterberg Towbin analyst Tara Long downgraded the stock to "long-term buy" from a "buy" rating. (Nasdaq: ABTL) rose 6 3/16 to 19 1/2 after announcing plans for car autcions.

    Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) down 1/4 to 66 7/16, said it will take a 19 percent stake in Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (Nasdaq: MFNX ), up 1 5/8 to 33, as part of a $2 billion deal that will give the giant U.S. local telephone operator access to a key nationwide fiber optic data network. Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX) was the most active gainer on the Nasdaq, rising 3 11/16 to 32 3/16. MCI WorldCom Inc. (Nasdaq: WCOM) rose 4 7/8 to 75 3/4 and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) was up 5/8 to 64 5/8 in the wake of their $115 billion merger Tuesday.

    Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) was also trading on high volume, up 1 1/16 to 44 3/8. Meanwhile, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sank 2 13/16 to 116 3/8 after Banc Boston Robertson Stephens analyst Dan Niles reportedly made some negative comments about its server business and software sales.

    Shares in Lionbridge Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: LIOX) roared up 6 5/8 to 22 7/8 after US Bancorp Piper Jaffray raised its rating on to "strong buy" from "buy," with expectations the company will show solid third quarter results on Oct. 21.

    Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) fell 11/16 to 18 3/4 after it reported a better-than-expected quarter, but said the Taiwanese earthquake caused a bit of uncertainty about meeting year-end goals for sales of its high-end Athlon chip.

    BMC Software Inc.'s (Nasdaq: BMCS) sank 6 3/8 to 63 5/8 after it warned Wednesday night that second quarter profits would not meet Wall Street expectations.

    Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) fell 3 to 27. The financial software vendor announced a $370 million deal to buy mortgage provider Rock Financial.>