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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: IPOs leave other techs in the dust

Interwoven and Jupiter blasted off in their IPOs at midday Friday, while the overall tech sector remained mired in confusing jobs data. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.57 to 2,861.27 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 77.89 to 10,614.94.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was holding even at 350.45.

The September payroll survey caught the markets off guard -- the figure showed the economy losing 8,000 jobs while average hourly wages rose 0.5 percent in the month. The conflicting data suggests a slowdown in the economy but a possible pickup in inflation. Fed watchers were left muddled on how to predict the future of interest rates.

New offering Interwoven (Nasdaq: IWOV) was rocking the charts, up 24 1/8 to 41 1/8, or 142 percent. After pricing highest among the day's IPOs, Jupiter Communications (Nasdaq: JPTR) was up 19 1/8 to 40 1/8, or 91 percent.

Among other IPOs, E-Stamp (Nasdaq: ESTM) did well, up 7 1/4 to 24 1/4, or 43 percent, while VitaminShoppe.com (Nasdaq: VSHP) was up just 3/8 to 11 3/8. Homeservices.com (Nasdaq: HMSV) edged up 1/16 to 15 1/16 and Trizetto Group Inc. (Nasdaq: TZIX) was still stuck at 9. Illuminet Holdings (Nasdaq: ILUM) had yet to debut.

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) on Friday issued a third quarter profit warning and analysts promptly downgraded the stock. Shares plunged more than 25 percent, or 10 5/8 to 32 1/8.

Chipmaker Hi/fn (Nasdaq: HIFN) tumbled another 44 percent Friday after the company said Thursday it expects to have better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter and lighter-than-expected revenue in the first. Shares were down 32 1/16 to 41 15/16. Hi/fn also took PMC-Sierra (PMCS: Nasdaq) with it, down 7 7/8 to 92. Shares didn't get any help from SG Cowen, who started the stock with a "neutral" rating Thursday, though Lehman Brothers analyst Dan Myers started coverage of the semiconductor systems company PMC-Sierra Inc Friday with a rating of "buy."

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) was down 1/8 to 75 1/2 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) dropped 5/16 to 18 5/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) dropped 3/16 to 44 1/2 and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 1/8 to 93 5/8.

Online ad specialist 24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM) moved up 6 9/16 to 47 1/16 on reports it's in talks to be acquired by DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK), down 1 3/8 to 130 1/2.

Autobytel.com (Nasdaq: ABTL) fell 2 7/8 to 16 5/8 on Friday after it officially launched the online auto auction system that has been driving shares up all week. Competitor Autoweb.com (Nasdaq: AWEB) which unveiled its "next generation Website" including a used auto auction channel on Wednesday, was also down 3/8 to 12 3/8.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) subsided from its post-earnings high, and fell 3 9/16 to 186 11/16. Other nets were riding high after the good jobs data -- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) was up 13/32 to 87 23/32 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 1 7/16 to 119 15/16.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) fell 4 3/8 to 112 amid investor concerns over its third-quarter results prompted by profit warnings by small companies with business links to IBM. Meanwhile Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) gained 13/16 to 45 3/16 after chief executive Michael Dell said Thursday that a semiconductor crunch following last month's earthquake in Taiwan won't impact Dell's performance.