MARKET CLOSE: Chip, networking stocks boost Nasdaq

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Chip and networking stocks propelled the Nasdaq up 64 points to 2,682.74 Wednesday while the Dow Jones industrial average fell 68 points to finish at 10,584.34.

An economic report indicated U.S. consumer prices were up modestly in December as higher prices for home fuel, utilities and food more than offset lower costs for gasoline and clothing.

“The market is selectively looking for attractive valuations and opportunity in the tech market,” said David Sowerby, market strategist for Loomis Sayles.

Intel (INTC) shares fell 88 cents to $30.50 following its fourth-quarter earnings report and bleak outlook for the first quarter. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) added $1.44 to $18.56 and IBM (IBM) gained $3.94 to $96.69.

Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC) jumped $10 to $80.38 after the company hurdled third quarter expectations and boosted targets for the following quarter.

Novellus Systems (NVLS) rallied up $5.63 to $44.38 following its strong earnings report. KLA-Tencor (KLAC) added $3.19 to $40.38 and Applied Materials (AMAT) rose $3.75 to close at $48.19.

Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) shot up $8.38 to $136.38 after the company reported strong fourth quarter results and upped its guidance for 2001.

Redback Networks (RBAK) and Extreme Networks (EXTR), which both report earnings after the bell, gained $2 and $4.59 a share, respectively.

Microsoft (MSFT) inched up 38 cents to $52.94 while Oracle (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) added $1.44 and $1 a share, respectively.

VA Linux Systems (Nasdaq: LNUX) fell $2 to $7.13 after the company lowered estimates for its second quarter.

On the merger front, Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR) slumped $13.69 to $30.31 despite topping earnings for its third quarter, after analysts raised concerns over the company's near-term outlook and merger with Allaire.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) picked up 50 cents to $39. Lucent Technologies (LU) moved up 56 cents to $18.75 and Nortel Networks (NT) closed up $2.56 to $34.50.

Among leading Internet stocks, Yahoo (YHOO) finished up $2.88 to $30.25; America Online (AOL) rose $2.09 to $48.79; eBay (EBAY) clipped 81 cents to $43 and Amazon.com (AMZN) gained 31 cents to $18.38.

Dell (DELL) moved up $1.19 to $22.69. Compaq (CPQ) tacked on 85 cents to $18.60 and Apple Computer (AAPL) closed off 31 cents to $16.81.