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MARKET CLOSE: Techs retreat

Profit worries kept technology stocks in check Thursday as the Nasdaq composite fell 93 points to 3,760.24. The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 3 points to close at 10,908.76.

"It's a meandering market,'' said Arnold Berman, technology strategist at Wit SoundView. "For the most part, the bets being made are small and are being made without a sense of conviction."

Despite strong earnings reports from technology leaders, investors have shied away from taking substantial positions in the sector.

Applied Materials (AMAT) shares fell 2 7.8 to 69 1/4 despite easily topping analysts' estimates in its third quarter.

Intel (INTC) lost 1 9/16 to 62 and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lopped off 5 to 56 3/4 and IBM (IBM) moved up 1 to 119 3/4.

Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN) jumped 1 5/8 to 37 1/2 after the company reached a wide-ranging agreement with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), off 1 1/4 to 110 1/2, to develop, market and sell e-commerce products worldwide.

Oracle (ORCL) dropped 1 5/16 to 80 1/16 and Microsoft (MSFT) closed off 1 5/8 to 72 5/8.

Yahoo! (YHOO) shaved off 3 3/8 to 129 5/16. America Online (AOL) clipped 3/4 to 51 7/8 while Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) closed down 7/16 and 1 1/16 a share, respectively. Lycos (LCOS) picked up 3/4 to 57 7/8.

Bluefly Inc. (Nasdaq: BFLY) trimmed 1/16 to 2 1/2 after making progress in its second quarter, but warning that it has to pursue "strategic alternatives" because it's running low on cash.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) trimmed 1/16 to 41 3/4; Compaq (CPQ) added 3/8 to 31 5/8; Gateway (GTW) gained 1 to 60 3/4 and Apple Computer (AAPL) inched up 1/4 to 47 3/4.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) lost 4 7/16 to 63 3/8 while Nortel Networks (NT) and Lucent Technologies (LU) closed off 15/16 and 1/2 a share, respectively.