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MARKET CLOSE: Techs post slight gains

Technology stocks muscled their way to slight gains Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite picked up 21 points to 2,664.49. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 8 points to close at 10,957.42.

Despite two half-point cuts in short-term interest rates in the past five weeks, some traders are holding out hope for more cuts down the road.

“I think you will continue to see some pretty good stock performance. The Federal Reserve is being very aggressive in assisting the economy here,” said A.C. Moore, chief investment strategist for Dunvegan Associates in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) picked up $1.19 to $35.75 in heavy trading ahead of its earnings report.

In a widely anticipated move, fiber-optic technology maker JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), up $1.81 to $51.81, on Tuesday said Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), off 25 cents to $35.51, has agreed to buy its laser-chip subsidiary, clearing the path for its merger with rival SDL.

Lucent Technologies (LU) closed up 4 cents to $17.86. (Nasdaq: AMZN) closed up $1.38 to $15.81 after the online retailer slammed a new report from one of its harshest critics, a Lehman Brothers analyst who warned that the Internet retailer faces a ''creditor squeeze'' in the second half of 2001 and urged that investors ''avoid'' its convertible bonds.

Yahoo (YHOO) shares rose $1.31 to $36.38 while eBay (EBAY) and CMGI (CMG) both moved up 19 cents a share. America Online-Time Warner (AOL) shed 52 cents to finish at $48.85.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) added $2.43 to $26.88; Compaq (CPQ) inched up 68 cents to $24.58; Gateway (GTW) rose $1.07 to $20.75 and Apple Computer (AAPL) closed up 94 cents to $21.13.

Intel (INTC) tacked on 75 cents to $35.44. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) nudged up 5 cents to $24.05 and IBM (IBM) gained $1.97 to $114.19.

Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC) took a hit Tuesday, falling $9.31 to $55.06 a day after the company reiterated its outlook for the next two quarters, but said it was "on alert" for further order cancellations.

CacheFlow (Nasdaq: CFLO) lost $3.94 to $10.06 even though it managed to hit lowered revenue estimates in its third quarter, but missed earnings estimates, slashed jobs and said its CFO is leaving. The company also painted a bleak outlook for the fourth quarter.

Microsoft (MSFT) picked up 63 cents to $62.56. Oracle (ORCL) rose 13 cents to $27.63 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) lost 6 cents to finish at $27.81.