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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs shrug Cisco downgrade

A mammoth report on the networking sectors riled things up at midday Wednesday, but techs continued to rebound. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 75.12 to 2,516.42, or 3 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 12.61to 10,559.94.-

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 4 to 279.13.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), down 0.75 to 36.37, recovered slightly after taking a hit on a CIBC World Markets report said that the networking giant's glory days may be over.

CIBC World Markets analyst Steve Kamman also upgraded Lucent (NYSE: LU), up 0.13 to 16.94, to "buy" from "hold" based on its current valuation, and called the company "an attractive harbor in what looks to be a choppy year for the sector."

Kamman downgraded other networking equipment companies including Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), which was dropped to a "buy" rating from "strong buy," and Redback Networks (Nasdaq: RBAK), cut to "hold" from "buy." Juniper rose 5.18 to 122.38 and Redback gained 5.38 to 40.81 following the reports.

Slumping handset sales, semiconductor weakness and a double-shot of warnings give analysts little to cheer about, ahead of Motorola's (NYSE: MOT) fourth quarter earnings. Shares were up 0.19 to 20.87.

BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS)gained over 14 percent, or 7.34 to 56.47 after inking a 3-year licensing deal with financial giant Charles Schwab & Co.

Semiconductor equipment maker Varian Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VSEA), up 1.44 to 25.56, cut its first quarter revenue numbers due to delivery delays and a slowing chip sector. (Nasdaq: BNBN) was down 0.34 to 2.06 after pre-announcing disappointing fourth quarter and year-end results that inspired a rare "sell" rating.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 0.13 to 16.5, America Online (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.27 to 44.12 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 0.25 to 29.87.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 0.44 to 32.68, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up 1.75 to 33.25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1.69 to 53.5.