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MIDDAY MARKETS: Earnings propel techs again

Techs continued to make cautious gains at midday Wednesday, as a steady stream of earnings brought the Nasdaq higher for the third day. The Nasdaq rose 41.75 to 3,835.32, while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 2.49 to 10,764.93.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 19 to 649.10.

Earnings that reported after Wednesday's bell gave techs another boost; Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) was up 13 1/16 to 125 1/4, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 2 3/16 to 62 15/16. and i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) was up 18 1/8 to 115 1/4 after it reported good earnings news. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) fell 5 5/8 to 123 3/8 after it announced first-quarter operating profit of 71 cents a share to top estimates.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) fell 3 7/8 to 107 5/8 after beating estimates, but reporting lower revenue.

Ask Jeeves (Nasdaq: ASKJ) was up 2 to 30 after the online search engine and interaction infrastructure provider reported a loss for its quarter.

EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), down 9/16 to 15 15/1, reported Wednesday a first quarter net loss excluding charges of $50.9 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $219.7 million.

Spyglass, (Nasdaq: SPYG) which is due to merge with OpenTV (Nasdaq: OPTV), up 6 11/16 to 63 15/16, reported a surprise operating profit Wednesday.

Go2Net (Nasdaq: GNET), up 43/64 to 60 43/64 has hired Microsoft executive Rick Thompson to be its chief financial officer. Thompson played a role in Microsoft's X-box effort.

Flextronics International Ltd. (Nasdaq: FLEX) jumped 4 5/8 to 64 1/16 on news the company will help Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) develop its much-anticipated X-box video game console.

Insweb Corp. (Nasdaq: INSW) tumbled 3 1/4 to 2 11/16 after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss, but warned revenue would dip due to the departure of its largest customer.

Sagent Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGNT) plunged 62 percent, or 11 1/8 to 7 after the company missed revenue and earnings targets in the first quarter.

Lucent (NYSE: LU), up 3 11/16 to 62 15/16, said second quarter earnings topped expectations. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) was holding even at 69 1/4.

Microsoft was down 3/16 to 80 3/8. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) was even at 50 1/2. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 1 1/4 to 53 11/16 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 7 1/4 to 133 15/16.

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