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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs cautious ahead of Fed meeting

Investors took a cautious stance ahead of the Fed meeting, carving more off techs at midday Monday in anticipation of a rise in interest rates. The Nasdaq fell 49.24 to 3,479.82 and the Dow Jones industrial average edged up 62.37 to 10,671.74.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 9 to 449.64.

With the Federal Reserve's policy-making meeting coming up May 16, investors weren't about to go on a buying spree Monday. If the Fed does as expected, and raises interest rates by a half percentage point, it will be the first time since 1995 that the Fed has hiked rates by that much.

Monday's economic data didn't do anything to counter evidence the economy is booming; U.S. industrial production and factory capacity for April showed the biggest monthly gains since August 1998.

A few deals helped shift shares Monday; Wit Capital Group (Nasdaq: WITC), up 9/16 to 10 13/16, and E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP), down 3/8 to 19 7/16, announced they are exchanging properties as part of a strategic alliance. Among other online brokerages, TD Waterhouse Group, Inc. (NYSE: TWE) fell 3/16 to 17 1/2, Ameritrade Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: AMTD) fell 1/16 to 13 7/8, Charles Schwab & Co., (NYSE: SCH) was unchanged at 41 15/16 and DLJ Direct (NYSE: DIR) dropped 1/8 to 10.

NetObjects Inc. (Nasdaq: NETO) jumped 1 11/16 to 12 3/8 percent Monday after it announced a bundling agreement with IBM (NYSE: IBM), down 1 13/16 to 102 5/8.

AutoNation Inc. will become the exclusive car dealer on America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), up 1/2 to 55 7/8, through a multi-year deal.'s (Nasdaq: PCLN) fell 4 1/4 to 45 7/16 after it announced current president and operating chief Daniel H. Schulman will become CEO of the company in part of a reshuffling of management. (Nasdaq: TIXX) rose 1/16 to 2 1/2 after it reported a first quarter loss of 30 cents a share, as its ticketing and software services revenue boomed.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) lost 7/16 to 68 3/8, after news its browser has a flaw which allows hackers to steal "cookies." Other tech bellwethers were also suffering; Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) dropped 1 5/8 to 72 9/16 and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) fell 2 5/8 to 78 7/8. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 2 1/4 to 47 5/8, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) shed 2 to 57 15/16 and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was down 1 5/8 to 113 3/8. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 2 1/4 to 51 1/2 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) dropped 3 27/32 to 121 27/32.

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