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MIDDAY MARKETS: Economic data elevates tech gains

The gross domestic product showed surprising growth in the U.S. economy, giving a lift to Friday's midday markets.

The Nasdaq rose 20.66 points to 2,055.54, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 47.69 points to 10,740.04. The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 4 to 190.86.

The gross domestic product (GDP) showed that the U.S. economy, boosted by stronger consumer spending, gained surprising momentum in the first quarter. The United States completed a record 10th year of unbroken expansion.

The Commerce Department said GDP increased at a stronger-than-expected 2 percent annual rate, accelerating from 1 percent in the closing quarter last year when the economy was edging ahead at its most sluggish pace in five and a half years.

Shares of VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) surged $4.63 to $50.85 after the company topped estimates in the first quarter and said it was comfortable with Wall Street's projections for 2001.

Corvis (Nasdaq: CORV) fell $1.28 to $6.61 despite having met estimates in its first-quarter report and announcing a deal to provide Qwest Communications International (NYSE: Q) with the equipment to build a nationwide network.

As telephone carriers struggle with debt and financing issues, things could go from bad to worse for telecomnunications-equipment makers, Sanford Bernstein analyst Paul Sagawa said in a research note Friday. That could have a major impact on companies such as Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), up 13 cents to $15.34, and Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), up 9 cents to $14.59. Both are makers of much of the network gear used by telephone companies.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 28 cents to $15.15, AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) fell 26 cents to $49.25 and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) was up 86 cents to $19.12.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose $1.18 to $29.82, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 72 cents to $68.41 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 20 cents to $17.10.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.