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MIDDAY MARKETS: IBM earnings boost techs

A solid report from Big Blue helped boost technology stocks at midday Thursday. The Nasdaq rose 36.43 to 2,719.21 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.47 to 10,649.81.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was unchanged at 312.29.

Shares of IBM (NYSE: IBM) surged 11.56 to 108.25 as investors cheered a solid fourth quarter report devoid of any nasty surprises. Analysts were generally upbeat about IBM's earnings, but a few remained cautious on concerns about weaker information technology spending.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was up 1.31 to 18.13 following its quarterly report, and news it will return to profitability

Despite reporting solid quarters, both Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR), down 6.88 to 41and Redback Networks (Nasdaq: RBAK) , down 7.81 to 40.75, were both downgraded.

Shares of software maker Vignette (Nasdaq: VIGN) were whacked down 5.44 to 7.06 after the company said it plans to shut some offices and trim its work force by approximately 15 percent. The company is trying to reduce expenses as it looks toward lower earnings.

Check Point Software Technologies (Nasdaq: CHKP), up 6.5 to 133.06, reported a strong fourth quarter Thursday, with earnings that topped estimates by 8 cents a share. The Internet security firm also announced a stock split.

Shares of Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) rose 0.5 to 13.63 after the company fell short of earnings and revenue estimates for its third quarter.

Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT), down 0.41 to 14.03, posted a smaller than expected loss for its second quarter, beating reduced analyst numbers, but revenue fell short of estimates.

Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE: SCH), down 0.88 to 27.38, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 27 percent as a slumping stock market caused a drop in trading and brokerage commission revenues.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) was up 2.06 to 20.56 following its earnings report. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 1.06 to 31.56. Cisco(Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 1.69 to 40.69, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 0.56 to 33.81 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped 1.88 to 54.81.

NBC Internet Inc. (Nasdaq: NBCI) said on Thursday it will slash its work force by 30 percent as the result of a revenue shortfall due to a softer advertising market, the latest online media company to cut jobs in a sector struggling to turn a profit.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 0.08 to 18.31, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 0.30 to 49.09 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 0.88 to 31.13.