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MARKET CLOSE: Techs gain ahead of earnings

Technology stocks rebounded from a slump in the middle of the day to finish Monday on a higher note.

"We're getting into earnings, and I think that that is causing investors to be nervous," said John Davidson, chief investment officer at Circle Trust Co. "These are uncertain times."

The tech-infused Nasdaq composite index gained 25.35 to 1,745.71, thanks to a surge of buying in the last two hour of trading. The Dow Jones rose 54.06 to 9,845.15. The S&P 500 industrial average advanced 9.16 to 1,137.59.

Shares of (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained $2.81 to $11.18 after the company said it would post a smaller-than-expected loss for the first quarter amid strong electronics sales.

NBCi (Nasdaq: NBCI) rose 64 cents to $2.14 after NBC unveiled plans to buy the part of NBCi it doesn't already own, and absorb the company into NBC. Shares of NBC's parent, General Electric (NYSE: GE), rose 83 cents to $42.

Kana Communications (Nasdaq: KANA) fell 7 cents to 81 cents following news that it would buy Broadbase Software (Nasdaq: BBSW), which slid 2 cents to 70 cents.

Chip stocks dragged down the tech sector, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index closing at 475.22, down 12.31. Lehman Brothers' chip analyst, Dan Niles, warned that 2001 could be the worst year ever for the semiconductor industry. Among the biggest decliners of the Index were KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC), down $1.99 to $34.01 and Novellus Systems (Nasdaq: NVLS), which slipped $1.25 to $36.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) dipped 43 cents to $23.20.

E-business software maker Vignette (Nasdaq: VIGN), up 32 cents to $4.19 said Monday it would meet estimates for the first quarter, courtesy of cost cutting moves made in January.

Foundry Networks (Nasdaq: FDRY) jumped $1.32 to $7.63 after announcing it would miss revenue estimates in its first quarter, and staying mum on earnings expectations. Analysts said the revision was not as bad as expected.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 87 cents to $14.49, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained 19 cents to $14.05 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 96 cents to $57.15.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.