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Midday Markets: Techs creep higher

Techs staged a meek comeback at midday on Tuesday. The Nasdaq was up less than a point at 2,453 and the @Net dipped 1 to 294. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53 to 10,708.

The Dow snapped a three-day slump after a consumer confidence report from the Conference Board showed that consumer haven't been dissuaded from their spending ways. Confidence rose to 135.8 this month, from a revised 135.9 in April, indicating that the economy is on track. Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the gross domestic product, which is the principal gauge of the nation's economic health.

Customtracks Inc. (Nasdaq: CUST) fell 6 to 70 as profit taking swept away Monday's hype about its online transaction security software.

Echostar Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) gained 3/8 to 102 1/4 after setting a two-for-one stock split.

Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) added 6 1/2 to 104 1/2 after it was announced that the stock will replace Fore Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: FORE) on the Nasdaq-100 index Friday. CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI), its largest shareholder, rose 15/16 212.

Macromedia Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) rose 1 5/16 to 47 1/4 after penning a marketing deal with At Home Corp. (Nasdaq: ATHM). Shares of RealNetworks Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK) fell 2 13/16 to 68 15/16. Inc. (Nasdaq: SPDE) rose 4 3/4 to 8 1/2 after licensing Internet Protocol-TV technology from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Southern Petrochemical Industries Corp. Ltd. (Nasdaq: SPDS) hit a 52-week high at $5.35.

Worldgate Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WGAT) climbed 3 1/8 to 41 3/4 after inking tentative agreements with 19 cable companies in 13 countries to deploy its Internet via TV service.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 1/2 to 36 5/8 and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) rose 1 9/16 to 225 5/16 and Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) climbed 1/4 61 11/16.

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dipped 5/8 to 55 5/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) dipped 3/8 to 18 11/16.

Among software makers, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1 5/8 to 78 7/8 and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) added 1/4 to 25.