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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Apple Computer, Nextel and SBC Communications

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Apple Computer, Nextel and SBC Communications.

    Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)

    Apple's plans to retroactively bump the prices of its top of the line G4 PowerMacs are over. On Friday, the PC maker said a slew of customer complaints helped the company change its mind.

    "After a good night's sleep and digesting e-mails from many upset customers, we have decided to reverse this decision,'' Apple wrote on Friday in an electronic message to customers of its Web retail site, known as the Apple Store. ``Please give us an opportunity to reinstate your order.''

    Earlier this week, Apple said it was unable to offer the G4 PowerMac model equipped with a 500-megahertz processor until early next year because of supply constraints at its main chip maker, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

    As a result, Apple said, it was reconfiguring its G4 family of desktop computers, offering systems with processors running at 350, 400 or 450 megahertz -- but at higher prices -- instead of the original 400, 450 or 500 megahertz.

    Customers who had pre-ordered G4s before Oct. 13 were told via e-mail that their orders were canceled and if they wanted to re-order, the new prices were higher, reflecting an increase in memory chip prices since their launch on Aug. 31.

    Apple on Friday backpedaled, saying its Apple Store customers who pre-ordered a G4 with a 500-megahertz processor prior to Oct. 13 could choose either the same configuration with a 450-megahertz processor for $350 less than the original order price, or substitute any other configuration with a 450-megahertz chip at original prices prior to Oct. 13.

    Apple shares closed up 1 3/8 to 74 9/16 Friday.

    Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL)

    Nextel should move some Monday ahead of its quarterly earnings report.

    First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.11 a share this quarter.

    Its shares moved up to a high of 84 5/8 in October after slipping to a 52-week low of 17 7/8 last October.

    Its shares closed up 1 7/32 to 74 15/16 Friday.

    Twenty of the 22 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

    SBC Communications Corp. (NYSE: SBC)

    The baby bell said Sunday that it will outline details of its plan to spend $2.5 billion to improve its broadband Internet access services.

    Its shares closed off 2 11/16 to 48 11/18 Friday.

    The stock closed at a 52-week high of 59 15/16 in August.>