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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Nets perk up

CMGI led the flock of Nets bounding up at midday Monday, rising ahead of its earnings announcement as bargain hunters bid techs up across the board. The Nasdaq rose 44.80 to 2785.21, and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 81.6 to 10361.02.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index hopped up 6 to 320.02.

With Microsoft done "scaring the bejeesus out of investors" now that AOL has raised its access prices, and "concerns in other technology sectors driving money out of the chip-and-box stocks-money," Internets are feeling a "freshening tailwind," said Henry Blodget in a recent research report for Merrill Lynch. Concerns such as Y2K, earthquakes, and weakness in orders have pushed investors into "healthier high-growth sectors," such as nets, Blodget said.

Good news on the economic front also helped the rebound, as the dollar strengthened against the yen when Japan agreed with the Group of Seven nations to put the brakes on its currency.

CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI), the Internet network, led the pack as optimists bid shares up 9 percent ahead of fourth quarter earnings. CMGI, up 6 11/16 to 91 1/2, also purchased Signatures Network.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained 11/16 to 184, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) added 3 1/2 to 108 and Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 1 9/16 to 66 9/16. Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 15/16 to 47 7/8, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), up 1 3/8 to 29, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), up 2 7/32 to 38 3/16, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) up 1/16 to 30 1/8. eBay Inc.(Nasdaq: EBAY) fell 2 7/8 to 143 3/16.

Mexican-controlled Internet service provider Prodigy Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGY), up 3/8 to 17 1/4, said it planned to increase its dial-up network capacity by 100 percent by the end of the year to meet subscriber growth.

Computer makers International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), up 1 3/8 to 126 3/8, and Dell Computer Corp. (NYSE: DELL), up 1 1/16 to 44 3/4, said they plan to unveil a "multi-billion" dollar extension of their $16 billion strategic pact announced in March.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) rose 4 15/16 to 87 13/16, Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) climbed 1 1/2 to 65 7/8 and AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) gained 1/2 to 43 1/8.

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) tumbled 2 1/8 to 62 13/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 4 1/4 to 94 7/16. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) rose 1 5/16 to 44 13/16 and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) rose 3/8 to 22 3/4.

Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq: RMBS) shares were off 14 percent, or down 9 5/8 to 61 1/2 after the company confirmed bugs in Intel's 820 chipset, also known as "Camino." Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and SG Cowen were among the investment firms downgrading the stock.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 1 to 43 3/16. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 1 5/8 to 92 9/16, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) gained 3 25/64 to 79 1/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) skipped up 3/4 to 18 3/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 1/16 to 69 1/16, Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) gained 1 1/4 to 66 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) gained 1 to 28 1/4.