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MARKET CLOSE: Dow takes flight; Nasdaq keeps sliding

Blue-chip stocks made huge gains Wednesday as investors abandoned the technology sector for some of the beaten down "Old Economy" stocks. The Dow shot up 320 points to 10,131.41 while the Nasdaq shed 124 points to end at 4,582.69.

Wednesday's sell-off marked the third triple-digit loss in as many days for the Nasdaq. In the past week, it's lost more than 9 percent of its value.

"They're taking down all the ones that ran up so fast. This is a good, solid correction. It's taking out a lot of money," said Paul Cox, manager of the Commerce Mid-Cap Fund at Commerce Bank. "To say a correction was overdue is an understatement."

In economic news, the Federal Reserve said production at U.S. mines, factories and utilities rose 0.3 percent in February, much slower than January's increase. Industry ran at 81.7 percent of capacity, slightly less than economists had forecast.

Oracle Corp (Nasdaq: ORCL) managed to gain 1 5/8 to 78 5/8 after topping Street estimates by 4 cents a share in its third quarter.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) inched up 1/4 to 95 3/8 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) closed up 7/8 to 88 1/4.

Internet stocks took some heavy losses.

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) fell 21 1/4 to 189 3/4 after it said it is setting up a new marketplace for small businesses to trade goods. Rumors that a merger between Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc., two of the most popular consumer sites on the Internet, were also afoot.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) slid 10 1/4 to 158 1/2 while Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and America Online Inc. (AOL) shed 3 and 1/2 a share, respectively. Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) lost 13/16 to 28 5/16 and Inc. (AMZN) closed off 1 7/8 to 189 3/4.

E.piphany Inc. (Nasdaq: EPNY), a maker of customer relationship management software, said Wednesday it would acquire privately held Octane Software, Inc. in a stock swap valued at roughly $3.2 billion. Its shares plummeted 61 15/16 to 187.

Loudeye Technologies (Nasdaq: LOUD) rallied up 24 to 40 in its initial public offering.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) shaved off 3 1/8 to 128 5/8 while fellow network-equipment makers 3Com Corp. (COMS) and Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) ended up 6 1/4 and 1/16 a share, respectively.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) gained 2 5/16 to 120 3/16 after it said it will buy Danish cable company NKT's Giga unit for $1.25 billion, furthering the company's diversification strategy with a move into networking chips.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) inched up 3/16 to 48 3/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) fell 2 to 106 5/8.

Ravisent (Nasdaq: RVST) closed off 2 5/16 to 15 15/16 after it restated its second and third quarter results and reported lower revenue in its fourth quarter. A class-action lawsuit also dinged shares.