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MIDDAY MARKETS: Tech rally continues

Another batch of earnings helped techs sustain a rally at midday Friday. The Nasdaq was up 83.86 to 3,502.46 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 14.06 to 10,128.92.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 12 to 469.63.

Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY), down 1.56 to 12.44, announced Friday a higher than expected loss on its handsets business and issued a weak outlook. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) was down 0.19 to 37.94 and Motorola (NYSE: MOT) lost 0.31 to 22.69.

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), up 1.54 to 29.24, attempted to set investors at ease Friday by announcing it is comfortable with inventory levels.

Analysts gave Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC), up 3.56 to 67.44, a round of upgrades Friday, bolstering its momentum after a strong third quarter report. Shares rose 6 percent.

Shares Mercator Software (Nasdaq: MCTR), down 7.28 to 4.97, were slashed 58 percent in morning trading Friday after the company reported a $4 million, or 14 cent per share, loss for the third quarter.

Shares of E.piphany Inc. (Nasdaq: EPNY) rose 22.44 to 87.19, after reporting a narrower-than-expected third quarter loss and declaring a 3-for-2 stock split.

Strong fiber-optic and wireless sales are expected to power Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE: NT), up 2.56 to 68.19, whose profits may be beyond third-quarter consensus estimates when it reports Tuesday, despite it being a traditionally weak sales period, analysts said.

Shares of Ventro Corp. (Nasdaq: VNTR), down 1.69 to 4.25, plunged after the company reported a $76.3 million, or $1.69 per share loss, and said it was considering selling two of its marketplaces.

Shares of online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) jumped 4.56 to 61.75, a day after the company beat Wall Street expectations.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 0.5 to 28.25, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 2.65 to 48.09 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) was up 2.22 to 61.78.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 0.38 to 58.63, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) gained 1.88 to 43.81, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 4.06 to 65.94, and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained 0.44 to 35.94.