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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs drift lower

Techs were merely stirred at midday Tuesday by the earthquake in Taiwan, but shaken by profit warnings at home. The Nasdaq tumbled 30.06 to 2,856.09, and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 137.73 to 10686.17.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was holding even at 310.52.

A falling dollar and a rising trade deficit depressed the broader markets, with profit concerns and the earthquake in Taiwan taking an effect on techs in particular.

The dollar started to slide overnight after the Bank of Japan refused to halt the yen's surge.The July trade gap came in larger than predicted, indicating that the difference between the value of goods and services the U.S. imports from and exports to other countries, surged to $25.2 billion in July.

Though the effects of the earthquake's damage have yet to be ascertained, there is speculation that destruction of foundries and disruption of chip manufacturing could push world chip prices higher, at least in the short term. Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) rose before the bell, but was down 3 3/4 to 76 1/4 by midday.

Among stocks in the news, Bell Atlantic Corp. and Vodafone AirTouch Plc confirmed they would fuse their U.S. wireless businesses in a joint venture worth over $70 billion, creating the country's biggest mobile phone network.

Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL), up 1 13/16 to 8 3/4, said its comeback is complete and investors were buying into the story as shares soared 41 percent, up 2 13/16 to 9 3/4, Tuesday.

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC), down 7/16 to 4 3/16 issued another profit warning Tuesday. The downtrodden disk-drive manufacturer said it expects to lose as much as $1.30 a share, well below First Call's expected loss of $1.06 a share.

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) tumbled 8 3/8 to 70 11/16 after the company said it would fall well short of Wall Street estimates. Apple blamed a shortage of G4 chips that power its new line of Power Mac computers.

Shares of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), which makes the G4 chip took part of the fall for Apple, and sank 1 1/2 to 89 3/16. Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) rose 15/16 to 64 9/16 and AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) gained 5/16 to 45 3/8.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) lost 2 5/16 to 127 13/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) also dropped 2 5/16 to 91 5/8. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) shed 2 1/2 to 51 3/8, while Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 1 3/8 to 47 1/2. Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) lost 3/16 to 23 11/16 and

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) lost 1 1/16 to 72 1/8, Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) dropped 1 1/16 to 68 1/4 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) slipped 3/8 to 27 3/8.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 1/16 to 45 1/16. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) shed 1 15/16 to 95 3/4, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dropped 1 15/16 to 82 3/4, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) shaved off 3/8 to 18 15/16.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained 2 1/8 to 170 1/2, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) added 1 3/16 to 84 and Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dropped 11/16 to 62 1/16. Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), down 3/4 to 43, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), down 3/8 to 27 1/8, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), down 11/16 to 37, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) down 11/16 to 26 13/16. eBay Inc.(Nasdaq: EBAY) went up 5 to 141 and CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) fell 1 1/16 to 82 3/8.