MARKET CLOSE: Techs falter as blue chips take flight

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Blue-chip stocks made strong gains Monday but the tech sector couldn't keep pace. The Dow marched up 187 points to finish at 10,560.57 while the Nasdaq slid 29 points to close at 2,616.23.

New homes sales slowed by 2.6 percent in October, although the pace was much stronger than forecast by Wall Street economists and stood 2.4 percent above a year-ago. Also, a composite of leading economic indicators dipped 0.2 percent in October.

"The economics are what is really gripping the market -- and the uncertainties as to how far and how fast the economy is slowing," said Peter Cardillo, director of research for Westfalia Investments.

Qualcomm (QCOM) shot up $7 to $90 on reports that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese officials to deploy its CDMA technology in that country.

Intel (INTC) shares shed $1.19 to $32.94. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) trimmed 6 cents to $15.38 and IBM (IBM) gained $2.75 to $98.38.

Transmeta's (Nasdaq: TMTA) IPO underwriters started cheering for the "next Intel" Monday, but investors didn't bite. The stock fell $1 to $24.

Track Data (TRAC) inched up 6 cents to $1.06 after it announced that Knight Trading Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NITE), down $1.19 to $26.56, has agreed to acquire one million shares of Track common stock for $1.25 million. Knight also received a three-year option to acquire an additional two million shares of Track stock for $3.5 million.

Netzee Inc.'s (Nasdaq: NETZ) run of bad news got even worse when it announced some key executives were leaving on the heels of downward revisions to its financial outlook going into 2001. Its shares fell 25 cents to 75 cents.

Yahoo! (YHOO) dropped $1 to $37.94. America Online (AOL) trimmed 46 cents to $41.05 while eBay (EBAY) and CMGI (CMGI) lost $2.44 and 44 cents a share, respectively. Amazon.com (AMZN) picked up $1.94 to $26.56.

Internet communications company ESS Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: ESST) plunged $4.22 to $5.97 after it cut its financial forecast for the fourth quarter 2000 and first quarter 2001, citing sluggish orders for its products.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) gained 38 cents to $18.81; Gateway (GTW) lost $1.16 to $17.96; Apple Computer (AAPL) trimmed 38 cents to $16.69 and Compaq Computer (CPQ) clipped 3 cents to $22.77.

Microsoft (MSFT) finished off 13 cents to $56.50. Sun Microsystems (SUNW) added $1.94 to $78.88 and Oracle (ORCL) picked up $1.75 to $28.19.