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MARKET CLOSE: Techs make modest gains

Tech stocks regained their equilibrium Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite picked up 20 points to close at 4,169.34. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 131 points to end at 11,033.92.

The rotation back into technology stocks comes after more than two weeks of steep losses.

"You've got people, professionals, buying Nasdaq and selling the Dow, because Nasdaq stocks represent a clearer value right now," said Arnie Owen, managing director of capital markets at Roth Capital Partners.

Leading the charge was Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), up 6 7/8 to a 52-week high of 68 after telling the Street its first-quarter sales will be about $1.06 billion.

Intel Corp. (INTC) lost 2 7/8 to 129 7/8 and IBM Corp. (IBM) closed up 2 1/16 to 123 1/4.

Earlier Wednesday, Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs' influential Wall Street analyst, issued a statement that she remained enthusiastic about "the outlook for stock prices in the United States."

i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) closed up 10 9/16 to 105 after an analyst praised a deal with IBM (NYSE: IBM). Among other B2B software stocks, PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) fell 4 1/2 to 55 and Ariba (ARBA) closed up 3 7/16 to 102 1/16.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) shed 2 3/16 to 86 3/8. Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) trimmed 1 1/4 to 88 3/4 and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) finished up 2 5/16 to 78 1/4.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) slid 11/16 to 53 5/8; Gateway Inc. (GTW) added 3 to 57 1/16; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) edged up 3/8 to 27 5/8 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) rose 3 1/16 to 130 3/8.

Ulticom (Nasdaq: ULCM) closed up 7, or 50 percent, to 20 after the provider of signaling software for voice and data communications networks, priced 4.25 million shares at $13 each for its IPO. Vyyo (Nasdaq: VYYO) moved up 6 3/4 to 20 1/4 in its debut. 1 3/4 and 1 1/16 a share, respectively.

Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) moved up 1 1/4 to 7 11/16 after shareholders actually received some good news. The company said it would beat estimates.