MARKET CLOSE: Merger activity buoys techs

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The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 95 points to close at 10,519.84 Monday while the Nasdaq composite gained 23 points to finish at 4,418.57. Once again, the tech sector salvaged an otherwise rocky trading day.

"People have had a very hard time gaining traction on the market this year,'' said Arnold Berman, a market strategist at Wit Soundview Corp. "People try to leave technology to move into other areas and then they go back to the where the green lights are working."

Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) closed off 7/16 to 36 7/16 while Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) and Gateway Inc. (GTW) shaved off 1 1/16 and 1 7/16 a share, respectively. Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed up 7 1/16 to 115 13/16.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) closed off 5/16 to 99 5/8 on concerns about bugs in its new Windows 2000. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) gained 2 1/2 to 62 3/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) lost 3 3/16 to 91 1/4.

Computer Associates (NYSE: CA) closed off 7/16 to 69 5/16 after it said it will acquire e-business software company Sterling Software (NYSE: SSW) in a stock swap valued at $4 billion. Sterling shares closed up 1 7/8 to 36 5/16.

America Online Inc. (AOL) fell 1 9/16 on rumors that it's about to purchase a controlling interest in Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP), which closed up 12 3/16 to 60 1/4. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shed 5 5/8 to 165 3/4 while Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and eBay Inc. (EBAY) rose 1 and 3/4 a share, respectively.

Phone.com (Nasdaq: PHCM) closed off 2 5/8 to 118 1/2 after it said it will buy Onebox.com in a stock swap valued at $850 million.

Healtheon/WebMD (Nasdaq: HLTH) finished up 1 5/8 to 56 5/8 after announcing it will buy Medical Manager Corp. (Nasdaq: MMGR) along with its publicly traded subsidiary, CareInsite, Inc. (Nasdaq: CARI).

CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) added 3 7/16 to 115 1/2 as it added to its rapidly expanding network of Internet companies Monday with the acquisition of Tallan.

I2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) gained 19 1/8 to 259 7/8 after it said Monday its business-to-business platform will be used in a joint venture called MyAircraft.com.

Tickets.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: TIXX), an online ticketing company, said it lost 45 cents a share in its fourth quarter, much narrower than First Call's expectation, but shares fell 1/2 to 15 5/8.

Intel Corp. (INTC) shot up 4 to 109 7/8. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) lost 2 7/16 to 43 1/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) ended up 1/2 to 115 7/8.