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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs eye Fed news

Technology stocks rose for the first time this week in anticipation of news from the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rates. The Nasdaq rose 45.77 to 2,670.29 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 9.10 to 10,636.32.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 9 to 325.71.

Though its expected the central bank to leave rates alone Tuesday, many hope the Fed will suggest a rate drop in the future as an economic slowdown is acknowledged.

Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL) shed7.61 to 70.75, or 12 percent Tuesday after an analyst reiterated a "strong buy" but said the company's growth drivers are shifting.

Moving deeper into one of the hottest networking markets, optical equipment maker Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN), down 11.06 to 85.31, has agreed to buy privately held Cyras Systems in a stock deal valued at about $2.6 billion.

Despite topping estimates for its second quarter, shares of Merix Corp. (Nasdaq: MERX) fell 12.81 to 12.31, or over 50 percent after warning for its third quarter.

Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS), down 0.31 to 14.63, reported fourth quarter revenues and earnings that were down sharply from last year's results. The company blamed the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and an industry slow-down.

SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), down 6.81 to 46.5, said Tuesday that it expects earnings growth in 2001 and fourth quarter earnings per share to be at the lower end of expectations.

Electronics maker Solectron Corp. (NYSE: SLR), up 4.18 to 30.9, saw its shares gain 13 percent Tuesday after beating estimates for its first quarter and receiving favorable reviews from analysts.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 1.63 to 44.56, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 1.63 to 34.88, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 0.25 to 32.25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 0.94 to 46.88.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 0.06 to 19.94, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.61 to 43.85 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 1.25 to 30.75.