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MIDDAY MARKETS: IPOs, Nets buck sell-off

IPOs and ever-optimistic Internet issues ignored the downward trend that dragged techs into the red at midday Friday. The Nasdaq sank 55.78 to 2,694.05 and the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 100.68 to 10,217.91.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index sank 1.00 to 305.46.

A bunch of newly-minted techs stormed up as the rain of initial public offerings continued Friday. Alteon WebSystems blasted up 154 percent from its offering price of $19 a share, up 29 5/16 to 48 5/16 by midday. NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO) rose 68 percent, up 10 13/16 to 26 13/ 16. Keynote Systems Inc., (Nasdaq: KEYN) rose 6 5/16 to 20 5/16 and Bluestone Software (Nasdaq: BLSW) had yet to debut.

Interspeed, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISPD) was rising a bit slower, up 52 percent, or 6 7/32 to 18 7/32 Webstakes.com (Nasdaq: IWIN) was the day's unfortunate debut, sinking 11 percent, or 1 9/16 to 12 7/16.

Internet shares were going green across the board, turning a cheek to the warning from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer yesterday that technology stocks are overvalued. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 3 1/16 to 176 13/16, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) added 5 3/4 to 93 1/4 and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 7/8 to 63 1/8.

Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 1 7/16 to 44 13/16, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), down 5/16 to 28, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), up 1/16 to 36 1/4, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) up 1 13/16 to 29 3/16. Earthlink (Nasdaq: ELNK) was up 3 3/16 to 45 9/16 after Thursday's news it would merge with Mindspring. eBay Inc.(Nasdaq: EBAY) went up 1 3/4 to 140. CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) rose 2 5/8 to 84 3/8.

MCI WorldCom Inc (Nasdaq: WCOM) shares retreated 4 15/16 to 73 9/16 while Sprint Corp (NYSE: FON) rose 2 11/16 to 53 13/16 on reports that the second and third biggest U.S. long distance carriers are in talks to hook up

AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) shed 5/16 to 42 1/8 and Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) sank 1 1/4 to 63 7/8.

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dropped 6 percent, or 4 11/16 to 72 13/16 after predictions its fourth quarter results may be affected by the shortage in chips after the earthquake in Taiwan. Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 1 3/16 to 42 5/16. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) lost 2 1/16 to 89 1/8 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) gained 5/16 to 17 9/16.

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) gained 5/16 to 63 7/8, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) slipped 5/8 to 121 3/8 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) slid 2 11/16 to 86 15/16. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) rose 1/16 to 43 7/16, while Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) shed 3/8 to 42 5/8. Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) lost 5/16 to 22 1/2.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) lost 1 15/16 to 67 7/16, Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) dropped 1 3/16 to 64 1/16 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) rose 1/8 to 26 3/4.

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