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MARKET CLOSE: Record-setting week ends on high note

Technology and financial stocks took off in late trading Friday, sending the Nasdaq composite up 24 points to another record close of 3,220.86 while the Dow Jones industrial average rallied up 174 points to 10,769.01.

Bank stocks were boosted news that President Bill Clinton signed into law U.S. banking legislation that is expected to fuel mergers in the financial industry.

"I think the drop in the interest rates off the economic data and the signing of the financial services bill is giving us a nice rally," said Alan Kral, vice president and portfolio manager at Trevor Stewart Burton & Jacobsen Inc.

Intel Corp. (INTC) fell 3 1/4 to 76 3/16 after Merrill Lynch analyst Joseph Osha cut its rating from a "buy" to a near-term "accumulate" recommendation. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) shares closed off 1 9/16 to 26 11/16 and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) closed up 7/8 to 95 7/8.

Online brokerage stocks surged after Hambrecht & Quist analyst Greg Smith said strong November Nasdaq volume is fueling gains. E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) shot up 5 13/16 to 36 3/4 while TD Waterhouse Group Inc. (TWE) gained 2 to 16 5/8 and Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH) surged up 4 1/4 to 41 3/16.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) fell 1 1/2 to 41 15/16 despite its earnings report that hit analysts' estimates. Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) lost 11/16 to 21 9/16 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sank 1 1/16 to 93 15/16.

On the IPO front, Finisar Corp. (FNSR) rocketed up 67 7/8 to 86 7/8 and Somera Communications Inc. (SMRA) gained 1 7/16 to 13 7/16.

America Online Inc. (AOL) surged up 6 3/4 to 149. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) tacked on 3 13/16 to 196 15/16 while Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) hustled up 2 1/2 and 1 15/16 a share, respectively. Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) closed unchanged at 33 1/4 and Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) moved up 1 7/8 to 44 9/16.

Swedish telecoms group Ericsson (ERICY) said it would not comment on media reports it would buy Canada's Newbridge Networks (NYSE: NN). Newbridge shares picked up 3 to 21 1/4.

Healtheon (HLTH) shares slid 5 3/8 to 37 1/16 after it reported its last solo quarter of loss as shareholders approved its merger with WebMD.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) lost 1 11/16 to 41 3/4 after topping analysts estimates in its third quarter; Gateway Inc. (GTW) shot up 5 5/16 to 81 5/8; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) shed 3/8 to 21 7/8 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed off 1 5/8 to 90 5/8.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) slipped 1/2 to 89 1/8. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) added 3 1/16 to 65 1/8 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) closed up 4 9/16 to 119 5/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) trimmed 5/16 to 83 7/16. Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) dropped 2 3/8 to 73 1/16 and 3Com Corp. (COMS) closed down 9/16 to 33 3/8.