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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Telecoms fuel tech gains

A full plate of telecommunications deals kept technology issues satisfied at midday Monday. The Nasdaq added 33.58 to 2,770.43 and the Dow Jones industrial average surged 137.41 to 10,410.41.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 3 to 326.

A slew of deals involving Sprint (NYSE: FON), Preview Travel (Nasdaq: PTVL) and RCN Corp. (Nasdaq: RCNC) kept investors from focusing too much on Tuesday's Federal Reserve meeting. After hiking interest rates twice this year, the Federal Reserve is now is now expected to take no action on rates when it meets Tuesday.

Among the stocks in the news Monday:

All eyes were on Sprint and whether it would accept MCI WorldCom's (Nasdaq: WCOM) bid for the company or BellSouth's (NYSE: BLS) offer. Reports indicate the two offers are similar and Sprint is leaning toward MCI WorldCom. Sprint was up 2 to 59, WorldCom added 9/16 to 71 1/16 and BellSouth was off 2 5/8 to 42 3/4.

Meanwhile, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) was mum about reports that it would offer tracking stocks for its three major units. Investors, however, liked the idea and drove shares up 2 to 43 3/4.

And just to round out the day's menu of telecommunications talk, Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures invested $1.65 billion in RCN. Shares of RCN were up 4 15/16 to 43, or 13 percent. Other players in the RCN deal included High Speed Access (Nasdaq: HSAC), up 4 11/16 to 27 11/16, and Go2Net (Nasdaq: GNET) , up 37/32 to 62.

The dealmaking spilled over into Internet issues as long-suffering Preview Travel (Nasdaq: PTVL, chart) shareholders rejoiced over a merger with Shares jumped 5 15/16 to 23 9/16, or 33 percent.

Other Net issues were mixed. Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) slipped 1 3/16 to 43 5/16, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), which reports earnings Wednesday, was steady at 175 7/16, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 7/16 to 77 11/16, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1/8 to 107 3/4. Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) was up 1 3/32 to 52 1/16 and eBay Inc.(Nasdaq: EBAY) rose 1 11/32 to 139 9/16.

Among chip stocks, Wall Street was awaiting earnings from Micron Technology (NYSE: MU), which was up 1 1/4 to 72 3/4. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 1 7/8 to 76 13/16, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) gained 7/8 to 18 1/8. Semiconductor issues were up across the board.

Other tech issues were solid. Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 15/32 to 42 1/16, Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 1/16 to 22 7/16 and Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was up 2 5/32 to 63 7/8. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) added 1/16 to 117 13/16 and Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) rose 1/8 to 49 1/2.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 5/8 to 45 7/8. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 1 29/64 to 91 7/16, Persistence Software (Nasdaq: PRSW) was off 10 1/8 to 15 15/16 after a profit warning.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) added 11/16 to 69 9/16, Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) was up 9/16 to 63 3/16 and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) added 11/16 to 29 13/16.