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MARKET CLOSE: Techs slip in late trading

Technology stocks pulled back in late trading Thursday as the Nasdaq composite shaved off 25 points to finish at 2,034.96.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 67 points to 10,692.35.

Even though the Nasdaq dipped slightly Thursday, analysts were pleased to hear companies such as PeopleSoft and WorldCom reiterate their growth targets for the fiscal year.

"It's rare to see a positive outlook," Barry Hyman, chief investment strategist at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum told Reuters. "A lot of today's behavior is based on some of the good stories that we've seen, led by the WorldCom comment."

In economic news, the Labor Department reported that Americans' wages and benefits in the first quarter made their biggest jump in a year, a sign that workers haven't been hurt by the slowing economy.

However, the department also had some negative news--first-time claims for state unemployment benefits last week hit a five-year high.

WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM) matched analysts' earnings expectations for the first quarter, but saw revenue dip sequentially as its MCI long-distance business struggled. However, the company maintained its 2001 growth forecast. Its shares added 35 cents to close at $19.74.

Shares of PeopleSoft (Nasdaq: PSFT) stormed up $6.69, or 22 percent, to $36.62 after the company announced that it beat Wall Street expectations for its first quarter and left its 2001 estimates unchanged.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) trimmed 56 cents to $69.13, while Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) closed off 27 cents and 35 cents a share, respectively.

After delaying its earnings report following a terse profit warning Wednesday, PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) delivered its first-quarter earnings Thursday morning--and the news wasn't good. The company missed estimates for the first quarter by a wide margin on disappointing sales. The stock shed $1.05 to finish at $3.

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 42 cents to $18.26. America Online Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) inched up a penny to $49.51, while (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) slid 66 cents and $2.40 a share, respectively. CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) gained 8 cents to $2.81.

Internet service provider Prodigy Communications (Nasdaq: PRGY) rose 70 cents to $3.33 after it said its losses narrowed in the first quarter and revenue rose as its subscriber base grew to 3.1 million.

Voice and data services company XO Communications (Nasdaq: XOXO) closed off 18 cents to $4.32. It posted a first-quarter loss, but its shares surged after the company revised its agreement to purchase fiber networks and secured a $250 million equity investment that will fund its business into 2003.

Intel (Nasdaq: (INTC) clipped 39 cents to $28.64. Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) picked up 61 cents to $27.51, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) lost $1.17 to finish at $113.68.

Among widely held PC issues, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) closed off $1.67 to $25.32, Gateway (NYSE: GTW) moved up 50 cents to $18.75, Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) dropped 79 cents to $17 and Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) trimmed 3 cents to close at $24.69.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.