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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Productivity numbers vex Wall Street

Technology stocks finished mixed Thursday as the Nasdaq composite tacked on 13 points to 3,720.74. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 67 points to 10,413.12 after some disappointing productivity numbers fueled more interest-rate speculation.

Productivity of U.S. workers rose at a smaller-than-expected pace in the first three months of this year while labor costs spiked higher, the Labor Department reported.

"Overall, the market is handling these somewhat disappointing productivity figures pretty well," said Alfred Goldman, technical analyst at A.G. Edwards. "People are pretty worried about inflation. If the Fed jams on the breaks, you worry about your heavy industry, economy-sensitive stocks, but the high-techs are under accumulation."

Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan did not offer any clues on the central bank's intentions in his speech to a Chicago banking conference Thursday.

Intel Corp. (INTC) shares closed up 1/2 to 119 9/16. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) rose 2 11/16 to 90 7/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) shed 1/2 to finish at 107 5/8.

AOL Time Warner unveiled its massive management team Thursday. AOL (AOL) shares closed off 3/4 to 56 3/8 while Time Warner (TWX) dropped 1 1/2 to 83 13/16.

Palm Inc.(Nasdaq: PALM) jumped 2 1/2 to 30 1/4 after a leading brokerage upgraded the stock and said it has been oversold. Parent 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) moved up 2 1/8 to 42 1/16 and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) shed 2 7/16 to 63 5/8.

Among widely held Internet stocks, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) moved up 2 1/8 to 124 3/16; Inc. (AMZN) added 15/16 to 55 1/16; eBay Inc. (EBAY) lost 3 1/16 to 136 15/16 and Lycos Inc. (LCOS) closed up 3 1/2 to 50 3/4.

AirGate PCS (Nasdaq: PCSA) moved up 2 1/8 to 86 1/8 after it reported a hefty loss of $1.40 a share for its second quarter Thursday, coming in slightly ahead of First Call's expected loss of $1.48 a share. Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS) gained 2 3/16 to 57 15/16.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) shares closed off 1/16 to 70 1/2 while Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) finished down 1 7/16 and 1 3/4 a share, respectively.