MARKET CLOSE: PC stocks lead tech rally

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Blue-chip stocks cooled off a bit Thursday but technology stocks, particularly PC issues, pushed the Nasdaq composite up 29 points to 2,771.85. The Dow closed off 60 points to 11,126.89.

"I think it's a healthy market," said George Rodriguez, senior vice president at Guzman & Co. "Earnings will drive the market through the summer. Firms which are able to continue with positive numbers on the earnings front will do well by investors."

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) shares soared up 4 5/8 to 54 1/2 after BancBoston Robertson Stephens upgraded its stock and set a 12-month price target of $75 a share. Apple said it will begin giving away Internet access in France, as well as Britain and Germany.

Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) picked up 1 5/8 to 39 15/16 while Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) and Gateway Inc. (GTW) added 13/16 and 2 7/16 a share, respectively.

Intel Corp. (INTC) moved up 1 3/8 to 65 3/4. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) gained 9/16 to 17 7/16 and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) closed up 1 to 133 13/16.

In Focus Systems Inc. (INFS) picked up 1 7/16 to 16 1/8 after announcing second quarter profits that beat expectations.

Web hosting service Interliant (INIT) shot up 6 13/16 to 16 13/16 in its initial public offering.

Shares of Computer Horizons Corp. (CHRZ) plunged 1 1/8 to 11 7/8 after warning it would miss analysts' estimates in its second quarter and in the fiscal year.

Internet stocks basically treaded water Thursday.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) fell 2 5/8 to 164 7/16 after reporting strong earnings in its second quarter. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) picked up 3 1/2 to 125 3/8 while Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) inched up 3/16 and 1/4 a share, respectively.

America Online Inc. (AOL) rose 2 5/8 to 164 7/16.

MCI WorldCom (WCOM) tacked on 4 13/16 to 90 after Salomon Smith Barney released its "10+ Exceptional Names" list. AT&T Corp. (T) added 1/8 to 58 1/2 and GTE Corp. (GTE) closed off 1 15/16 to 73 1/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) moved up 3/16 to 66 7/16 and 3Com Corp. (COMS) lost 1/16 to 26 5/8.