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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs strong as Greenspan is mum

    Techs decided that no news is good news at midday Wednesday and perked up as Greenspan held silent on the subject of interest rates. The Nasdaq rose 12.34 to 2,849.60, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.33 to 11,103.46.

    Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's speech at 11:45 a.m. EST at Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan was silent on the subject of inflation, according to prepared remarks released in Washington. Though he made no comments that could be interpreted as suggesting a rate hike, he did expound on the changing American economy. The economy "is in the grip of what the eminent Harvard professor Joseph Schumpeter many years ago called 'creative destruction,' the continuous process by which emerging technologies push out the old," said Greenspan in the statement.

    Fed watchers will also have their eyes on Fed. Gov. Laurence Meyer's and Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers' speeches this afternoon. Another member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, New York Fed President William McDonough, is slated to speak on monetary policy at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Buffalo.

    Shares of Mortgage.com (Nasdaq: MDCM), up 1 7/8 to 17 9/16 took off in predictable post-quiet period style as another analyst started bullish coverage on the online mortgage site.

    Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM) fell 5 3/8 to 13 15/16 after it warned it would miss third quarter estimates by a wide margin and said it was seeking a new chief executive.

    Fiber optic cable company Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX), up 3 7/16 to 23 3/4, is collaborating with Microsoft Corp. and Japanese Internet firm Softbank Corp. to build a $1.28 billion land and undersea telecommunications network in Asia, the companies said on Wednesday. Softbank owns 70 percent of Ziff Davis.

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) dropped 1/4 to 94, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) added 9/16 to 88 3/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) added 1/4 to 23 1/2.

    Internet portal firm, Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 3/8 to 44, said on Wednesday it signed an agreement to buy Quote.com, which provides financial information to subscribers on the Web, for $78.3 million in stock.

    Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) was even at 155, and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) was steady at 62 15/16. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) skipped up 1 5/8 to 94 15/16, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK) sank 3/16 to 31 1/8, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) was even at 39 5/16 and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) dropped 1/2 to 28 1/4. CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) skipped up 1/8 to 86.

    California-based Concentric Network Corporation (Nasdaq: CNCX), up 3/4 to 23 1/2, is to buy Britain's Internet Technology Group Plc in the biggest British Internet service provider takeover ever.

    Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) added 13/16 to 44 5/8, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) shed 9/16 to 46 3/4 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) grew 13/8 to 87 11/16.

    Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) grew 5/16 to 70 11/16. Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) sank 11/16 to 66 9/16, and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) lost 15/32 to 26 5/32.

    IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) added 1 1/2 to 133 1/2 and Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) shed 13/16 to 49 7/16 while Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 7/16 to 48 15/16, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) gained 3/16 to 23 1/8. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell 1 1/4 to 75 1/8.