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Tech stocks boost Nasdaq; Dow slips

The CNET tech index jumps 61.04 to close at 3,455.38, led by shares of Micron Technology and Knight/Trimark.

Tech stocks made the Nasdaq composite index jump as the Dow Jones industrial average lagged.

The CNET tech index jumped 61.04 to close at 3,455.38, led by shares of Micron Technology and Knight/Trimark Group.

Winners beat losers, with 70 of the 100 stocks in the index rising, 27 falling and three remaining unchanged.

Of the 18 sectors tracked, semiconductor equipment companies posted the sharpest rise, gaining about 5 percent. Computer peripheral makers were the day's largest declining stocks, falling 3 percent.

In the broader markets, the Nasdaq gained 153.07, or 3 percent, to 4,864.75, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index added 6.77 to 1,500.64. The Dow fell 40.64 to close at 10,866.70.

Intel continued its march, closing up $5.63 at $144.06. Microsoft inched up 50 cents to $103.25. The company said it will modify its Celeron chips to act more like Pentium III chips.

Microsoft and Texas Instruments will join forces to develop enhanced software capabilities for wireless handheld devices. Texas Instruments closed up $7.81 at $179.06.

Metamor Worldwide, a business software and services company, was the biggest percentage gainer on the Nasdaq. The shares jumped $17.33, or 108 percent, to $33.33. Volume topped 19.5 million shares.

Internet service provider PSINet said it will buy the company for $1.49 billion in stock. PSINet fell $7.94, or 16 percent, to $41.56 on a volume of 28.9 million shares.

Among members of the CNET tech index, Micron and Knight/Trimark posted strong gains.

Micron rose $20, or 16 percent, to $139.25 after receiving positive analyst support.

Knight/Trimark rose $5.94, or 12 percent, to $54.94. The company's stock surged after an analyst at PaineWebber increased a first-quarter earnings estimate by a third.

Shares of Adobe rose $10.31, or 11 percent, to $102 after an analyst at PaineWebber reiterated the stock at "buy."

Telecom shares underperformed, with US West falling $3.06 to $67.38. The company said its TV expansion plans could be slowed because of a proposed buyout by Qwest Communications International, which closed unchanged at $42.94.

MCI WorldCom fell 13 cents to $43.69; Sprint fell $3.38 to $56.63. MCI WorldCom, which plans to acquire Sprint, said it has added Geneva and Milan to its European network and will spend $1.5 billion this year for further expansion outside of the United States.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index blasted 110.10, or 9 percent, to 1,304.59, led by chip equipment designer Rambus, which rose $83.81, or 31 percent, to close at $350.38. An analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, raised a target price for the stock from $110 to $500 today.

IBM announced that will make a Linux based supercomputer. The company's shares rose 75 cents to $114.25.