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Market Close: Net stocks, IPOs lift Nasdaq to another record

Technology stocks, led by leading Internet issues, enjoyed another strong day Thursday as the Nasdaq composite added 20 to 2,706.21, another record close. The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 96 points to 11,066.42.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's June manufacturing survey rose well above Wall Street's forecast of 54.5. It was up to 57.0 from May's 55.2. Any figure above 50 correlates to an expanding manufacturing sector.

But analysts said the market was relatively unfazed by the report, which put the June NAPM Index at a 57.0 from 55.2 in May. Instead, a bullish outlook for the second quarter earnings season has led investors to continue pumping money into stocks.

"Even though this NAPM report was not what we really wanted to see, the earnings reports are I think going to be very strong," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Joseph Gunnar & Co. "The number of negative pre-announcements have been few and far between."

A bunch of Internet initial public offerings got off to fantastic starts Thursday, led by Ask Jeeves Inc. (ASKJ) soared up 50 15/16, or 364 percent, to 64 15/16. Clarent Inc. (CLRN) moved up 10 1/2 to 25 1/2 and Primus Knowledge Solutions Inc. (PKSI) added 6 9/16 to 17 9/16. Commerce One Inc. (CMRC) shot up 40, or 190 percent, to 61 in its debut.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) gained 5 1/8 to 177 3/8. Excite At Home Corp. (ATHM) picked up 1 to 54 15/16 and Lycos Inc. (LCOS) stormed up 10 1/2 to 102 3/8. America Online Inc. (AOL) added 2 3/8 to 112 3/8 while Inc. (AMZN) and CMGI Inc. (CMGI) fell 2 3/4 and 2 a share, respectively.

CNet Inc. (CNET) fell 5 7/8 to 51 3/4 after warning it will report net losses for the year as it launches a $100 million-plus multimedia advertising campaign. Books-A-Million (BAMM) skyrocketed up 6 11/32 to 13 7/8 after inking an agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) gained 1 to 91 3/16 even though it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting practices. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) inched up 5/8 to 37 3/4 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) lost 11/16 to close at 68 3/16.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) lost 3/8 to 36 5/8; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) fell 1/16 to 23 5/8; Gateway Inc. (GTW) added 1 to 60 1/16; Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) lost 1 to end at 45 5/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) closed up 1 3/4 to 131.

Intel Corp. (INTC) moved up 3 3/8 to 62 7/8 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) lost 11/16 to 17 3/8.