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MIDDAY MARKETS: Downgrades continue

The Nasdaq decelerated its slide at midday Wednesday, even as the rash of warnings and downgrades continued. The Nasdaq shed 14.2 to 2277.66 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 22.37 to 10,668.52.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 9 to 325.71.

DSL stocks were hammered Wednesday after equipment vendors Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT), down 3.84 to 8.47, and Turnstone Systems (Nasdaq: TSTN), down 0.94 to 5.63, issued fourth quarter profit warnings.

Citing "terrible" PC demand in December and a larger-than-expected slowdown in IT spending, Lehman Brothers slashed its 2001 earnings numbers for both Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), off 0.31 to 30.75, and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), up 0.19 to 17.69.

Citing slumping IT spending and delayed purchasing decisions from customers, Tumbleweed Communications (Nasdaq: TMWD), off 6.95 to 3.25, said it would miss estimates for its fourth quarter and will cut 20 percent of its workforce.

Yahoo's (Nasdaq: YHOO) decision to garner fees from its auctions could add as much as a nickel a share to the portal's 2001 earnings, analysts said Wednesday. Wall Street analysts also said Yahoo could initially lose auction customers to eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). Ebay was up 1.97 to 32.16 and Yahoo! gained 0.12 to 28.31.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 1.44 to 34.75, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 0.69 to 27.06 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) grew 1.19 to 44.56.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 0.13 to 13.75, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.65 to 34.04 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) was up 0.31 to 28.5.