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Market Close: Internet, PC stocks shine

Technology stocks were back in favor Monday as investors grabbed some big-name hardware stocks at bargain prices. The Nasdaq composite picked up 23 points to close at 2,526.40 while the Dow fell 24 points to end at 11,007.25.

Traders said the market was showing confidence as interest rates in the Treasury markets edged off highs reached last week. The April jobs report on Friday soothed Wall Street's fears of inflation and possible interest-rate hikes down the road.

"Wall Street is very conscious of what's happening with interest rates; it's being looked at as the key to the market," said Ken Ducey, head of trading at BT Brokerage.

Personal-computer stocks made nice gains Monday after Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) said it would scale back its distributor partnerships in favor of an increased direct-sale model. Compaq shares closed up 1 1/2 to 26 1/4 while Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) and Gateway Inc. (GTW) added 2 1/16 and 2 9/16 a share, respectively. Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) shed 5/8 to close at 45 1/4.

Lycos Inc.'s (LCOS) huge merger with USA Networks Inc. (USAI) appears to be on the rocks. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that USA Networks won't have enough shareholder votes to approve the merger. Lycos shares rallied up 15 3/4 to 105 1/4 and CMGI Inc. (CMGI) added 16 11/16 to close at 237 15/16.

CNet Inc. (CNET) shot up 22 7/16 to 136 3/16 after the e-commerce company joined with Inc. (Nasdaq: XMCM) and General Electric Co.'s (NYSE: GE) NBC to form NBCi, a new online company that gloms properties from each company together. closed up 6 _ to 81 7/8 and GE fell 1 3/16 to 108 3/4.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) moved up 8 ? to 155 11/16 while Inc. (AMZN) and Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) gained 10 9/16 and 1 1/4 a share, respectively. Excite Inc. (XCIT) closed off 2 5/8 to 158 15/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) closed up 3/4 to 109 1/4ahead of its third quarter results that are due Tuesday after the bell. Ascend Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ASND) gained 2 3/16 to 94 3/4 and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) picked up 1 1/4 to 59.

Marketing software and services company Exchange Applications Inc. (Nasdaq: EXAP) tumbled 4 5/8 to 23 3/8 after it filed for a follow-on equity offering of 3 million shares.

Among other widely held technology stocks, IBM Corp. (IBM) gained 1 5/16 to 218 9/16; Intel Corp. (INTC) lost 3/8 to 60 9/16; Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) inched up 5/8 to 79 11/16; Oracle Corp. (ORCL) trimmed 1/8 to 24 3/8 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) added 1 to 59 1/16.