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MIDDAY MARKETS: Tech rally continues

Microsoft competitors fueled tech gains at midday Monday, even as the software giant was recovering from its morning lows. The Nasdaq rose 21.02 to 3,123.31, and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 14.99 to 10,689.49.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index leapt 11 to 393.72.

Microsoft was thrown into limbo by the initial news from the government's antitrust trial Friday, but didn't go very low. Microsoft was flexible enough to spring back from a morning bottom of 83 1/2 and shares were down just 3 percent, or 2 7/16 to 89 1/8 at midday.

Microsoft rivals were the real story.

Linux champion Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) jumped 16 1/8 to 102 1/16, or 18 percent because if Microsoft stumbles Linux could take the operating system throne. Be Inc. (Nasdaq: BEOS) shot up 3 5/32 to 6 13/16, or 83 percent on the Microsoft news.

Even Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL), a Linux play and office software play, was up 7/8 to 7 11/16, or 13 percent. Unix and Java cheerleader Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) was up 7 5/8 to 117 5/16 and software maker Oracle Corp (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 1 5/16 to 60.

In other news, some deals and earners were moving shares Monday. Investors in FlashNet Communications (Nasdaq: FLAS), down 1 7/16 to 8 9/16 weren't too happy, even with news that Prodigy Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGY), down 1/2 to 24 1/4, is buying FlashNet.

Complete Business Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBSI), up 1 1/4 to 15 1/16, hit earnings estimates for its third quarter Monday, but warned net income will decline in the fourth quarter due to a Y2K-induced slowdown. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSK), up 9/16 to 41 7/16, also posted earnings.

With its shares plunging, Peapod Inc. (Nasdaq: PPOD) went on the defensive Monday with a statement assuring investors that it had enough operating cash to make it through the third quarter of 2000. It didn't matter as shares fell 10 percent to 10 9/16.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 4 3/16 to 69 1/8 after the company said it will make a significant e-tailing announcement on Tuesday. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) jumped 5 1/16 to 188 1/2, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) grew 4 1/4 to 149 3/4. At Home rose (Nasdaq: ATHM) 3 1/16 to 42 1/4 as rumors of a deal with AOL ricocheted around message boards.

Priceline.Com (Nasdaq: PCLN) was up 4 3/16 to 57 7/16, or 9 percent, after it announced a 3-yr, $18 million deal with Net2Phone (Nasdaq: NTOP), down 1/2 to 47 5/8.

Among other tech bellwethers, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) fell 7/16 to 40 5/16, Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) was down 3/8 to 21 1/2 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sank 1 3/16 to 93 5/8. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) lost 5/16 to 82 1/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) jumped 1 3/8 to 74 13/16 and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) rose added 2 1/2 to 70 following an upgrade from Lehman Brothers that raised its rating to "buy" from "neutral."

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