The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 18.2 points or two-tenths of a percent higher, at 9324.78. The blue chip dropped as much as 83.95 earlier today. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished 7.15 points or 0.31 percent higher, at 2295.18, after shedding as many as 23.71 points earlier.
After posting losses earlier in the day, Dell Computer finished with a slight gain of 0.44 or 0.55 percent, at 80.56, while Intel ended the day down 2.88 points or 2.4 percent, at 117.06. Intel was downgraded this morning by investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to "market perform" from "buy," citing a slowdown in the personal computer market for its revised outlook.
Dell's chief rival, Compaq Computer, dropped another 1.84 points or 5.21 percent, closing at 33.53, with continued fears of a soft PC market in the coming quarter.
Applied Materials, which held on to its morning gains and added to them this afternoon, climbed another 2.58 percent.
The Internet sector showed substantial gains from earlier this morning and was mostly higher at the close of trading.
Preview Travel soared 12.88 percent after announcing major advertising deals representing long-term, six-figure commitments. The advertisers include AT&T and Hewlett-Packard. E*Trade also climbed 5.57 percent, and Lycos jumped 1.07 percent.
Other big Internet players that slumped earlier finished on a high note. Amazon.com gained 3.80 percent; America Online rose 0.70 percent; and Yahoo and Infoseek jumped 4.32 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively.