MARKET CLOSE: Dow back above 10K, but techs falter

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Blue-chip stocks managed to regain their equilibrium Thursday, but tech issues continued their unceremonious decent as the Nasdaq composite fell 31 points to close at 1,940.78.

Fresh off yesterday's 317-point plunge that knocked it below 10,000 for the first time since October, the Dow Jones industrial average picked up 58 points to finish at 10,031.28.

Analysts credited this to some bargain hunting and the surprisingly resilient performance of Asian markets following Wednesday's meltdown.

However, few analysts were willing to predict a particularly bright future for emotionally scarred investors.

"I don't think we're out of the woods yet. I think there's still more tears and pain and torture before a serious reversal can take place," said Peter Cardillo, director of research at Westfalia Investments.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) helped out the tech sector a bit when it reiterated its projections for first-quarter growth while simultaneously warning that sales are slowing. Its shares gained $3.15 to $24.95 as investors applauded the report mainly because they had been expecting much worse news after the recent warnings from Motorola (NYSE: MOT), off 8 cents to $14.41, and Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY), down 6 cents to $5.84.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) clipped 25 cents to $24.13, Gateway (NYSE: GTW) fell $1.18 to $14.91, Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) shed 75 cents to $19.69 and Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) picked up 25 cents to finish at $18.60 ahead of its profit warning.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) lost $1.31 to $14.75 ahead of its quarterly report. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) trimmed 31 cents to $53.69, and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) ended off 38 cents to $18.06.

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) moved up $1.50 to $54.88 after executives made some upbeat comments during an investment conference Thursday.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) inched up 6 cents to $20.31. Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) pushed up 2 cents to $11.04, and Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) closed up 53 cents to $15.90.

Nextel Partners (Nasdaq: NXTP) gained $1.69 to $14.75 after the company reiterated its 2001 financial guidance. The company's partner, Nextel Communications (Nasdaq: NXTL) closed off 88 cents to $13.75 after it warned Wednesday that it would miss its first-quarter numbers.

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) shares lost 31 cents to $15. America Online Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) gained 55 cents to $40.59, while eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 63 cents and 38 cents a share, respectively. CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) shares slid 28 cents to $3.

Shares of SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) fell $1 to $19.88 after the company said its first-quarter numbers would be "significantly lower" than expected, due to a slumping economy and customer inventory corrections.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) shed 56 cents to $28.50. IBM (NYSE: IBM) tacked on 60 cents to $95.56, and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) closed off 34 cents to $23.60.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.