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MARKET CLOSE: Techs rally on benign Fed news

Investors got it while the getting was good Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite continued its unfathomable performance, surging up a record 127 points to close at a record high of 3,911.01, after the Fed left interest rates unchanged.

The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 56 points to 11,200.54. For the year, the Nasdaq composite is up more than 76 percent.

The Fed's policy-setting committee left interest rates unchanged and, surprisingly, said it did not move to a tightening bias, instead opting to maintain the neutral one.

"Greenspan's given the day traders and momentum players another excuse to go higher,'' said Larry Rice, chief investment officer at Josephthal Lyon & Ross. ``Basically it says (interest rates) are going up in February."

Internet stocks again led the charge as Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) moved up 36 1/16 to 405 9/16. Lycos Inc. (LCOS) rallied up 9 9/16 to 92 1/8 while America Online Inc. (AOL) and Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) added 7/16 and 7/8 a share, respectively.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) rose 2 7/8 to 99 7/8 and CMGI Inc. (CMGI) rocketed up 47 13/16 to 270.

Phone.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: PHCM) closed off 5/16 to 125 15/16 after it said it will buy @Motion Inc. for $285 million to add voice portal technology to its current services.

SportsLine.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLN), publisher of CBS SportsLine, gained 7/8 to 63 1/4 after it announced its domestic e-commerce business would be acquired and operated by MVP.com, an online shopping Web site for sporting goods.

CheckFree Holdings (Nasdaq: CKFR) gained 5 7/8 to 95 3/16 as it said it will buy BlueGill Technologies for $250 million in order to offer a more complete and simplified method of Internet billing.

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) fell 1/16 to 98 15/16 after it said it would buy Softworks Inc. (Nasdaq: SWRX) in a cash transaction valued at about $192 million.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) raced up 2 1/16 to 49 3/4; Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) rose 4 1/2 to 102 1/2; Gateway Inc. (GTW) lost 1 7/16 to 71 9/16 and Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) added 2 7/16 to close at 27 9/16.

Juno Online Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JWEB) gained 34 to 66 3/4 after PaineWebber doubled its price target to $120. Juno unveiled plans to give away free Internet access Monday.

Intel Corp. (INTC) picked up 13/16 to 82 7/8 while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) tacked on 13/16 and 187/256 a share, respectively.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) rose 3 1/8 to 115 7/8. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) added 1 3/8 to 97 11/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) closed up 7/16 to 86 11/16.