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Market Close: Internet, software stocks gain ground

Traders cut out for a three-day weekend on a positive note Friday as Internet and software stocks made nice gains. The Nasdaq composite picked up 51 points to 2,470.06 while the Dow gained 93 points to close at 10,559.74.

Investors were encourage by the confidence American consumers are showing toward the economy in general.

The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in April to $6.11 trillion compared to 0.5 percent in March. Analysts were expecting both consumer spending and personal income would rise 0.4 percent in April.

Friday's gains come after what could only be described as a brutal week on Wall Street.

Internet stocks were especially strong as Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shot up 14 5/8 to 148 and Inc. (AMZN) picked up 4 3/16 to 118 3/4. Excite Inc. (XCIT) hustled up 7 to 133 while America Online Inc. (AOL) and Lycos Inc. (LCOS) rose 3 3/8 and 2 1/2 a share, respectively.

"There is some bargain-hunting going on with a bit of a rebound," Jim Tarantino, head of over-the-counter trading at Hambrecht & Quest in San Francisco, said of the Internet sector.

Software stock got a nice boost after Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) gained 3 3/16 to 47 3/16 after topping first quarter expectations. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) added 2 5/16 to 80 11/16 and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) moved up 1 ? to 24 13/16. Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) gained 1 to 59 _.

Nextel Communications Inc. (NXTL) picked up 2 1/4 to 36 7/8 after Microsoft completed its $600 million investment in the company. PictureTel Corp. (PCTL) fell 1/4 to 8 7/8 after the Securities and Exchange Commission said it was investigating the company's 1997 restatement of results.

Among widely held networking stocks, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) tacked on 7/8 to 108 7/8; Ascend Communications Inc. (ASND) moved up 3 1/8 to 92 11/16; Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) gained 1 1/2 to 56 7/8 and 3Com Corp. (COMS) inched up 13/32 to close at 27 1/2.

Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) trimmed 1/16 to 34 7/16. Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) lost 3/16 to 23 11/16 while Gateway Inc. (GTW) and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) added 5/16 and 9/16 a share, respectively.

Intel Corp. (INTC) ended up 15/16 to 54 1/16. IBM Corp. (IBM) closed up 5/16 to 116 5/16 after its 2-for-1 split and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) finished off 3/8 to 18 1/2.