MARKET CLOSE: Techs, blue chips stage sharp rally

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Technology stocks started strong Monday and held on to their gains in relatively light trading as the Nasdaq composite rallied up 76 points to 3,863.07. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 99 points to 10,867.01.

"I think that people are starting to feel that" the Fed is going to hold in August, said Rick Meckler, senior managing director at Liberty View. "There aren't a lot of economic numbers coming out this week. There is continued merger news and generally good earnings news."

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) closed up 3 1/8 to 65 7/8 even though it was downgraded by USB Piper Jaffray.

Intel (INTC) inched up 3/8 to 62 15/16 and IBM (IBM) gained 7/16 to 116 5/16. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) stormed up 9 to 247 15/16 after announcing it will acquire privately-held Silicon Spice Inc., in a deal worth $1 billion.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) gained 1 5/16 to 42 11/16; Apple Computer (AAPL) rose 9/16 to 47 15/16; Gateway (GTW) lost 2 1/4 to 59 3/4 and Compaq Computer (CPQ) closed up 7/8 to 29 7/8.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), which reports earnings after the bell Tuesday, picked up 11/16 to 66 1/4. Nortel Networks (NT) shot up 4 3/4 to 79 1/4 while Lucent Technologies (LU) and 3Com (COMS) closed off 1/4 and 1/2 a share, respectively.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) moved up 7/8 to 70 after it announced a share repurchase program aimed at providing shares for employee options and stock purchase plans.

Oracle (ORCL) nudged up 5/16 to 81 7/8 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) charged up 5 1/8 to 111 3/4.

Yahoo! (YHOO) moved up 2 9/16 to 136 1/2. America Online (AOL) gained 7/8 to 52 7/8 while Lycos (LCOS) and Amazon.com (AMZN) picked up 1 1/16 and 1 5/16 a share, respectively. eBay (EBAY) finished down 3/4 to 50.

Barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN) hustled up 1 7/16, or 38 percent, to 5 3/16 despite being downgraded by Merrill Lynch. The company confirmed a report it is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to open the first major Internet store selling digital books.

Computer Associates, Inc. (NYSE: CA) inched up 1/8 to 27 1/16 after it announced a realignment Monday that includes the spin-off its iCan-ASP Inc. and other businesses, and a new CEO.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSK, CMCSA) fell 11/16 to 32 3/8 after it said second quarter earnings were lower year-over-year, but operating cash flow, a widely watched indicator for cable companies, was up 32 percent.