MARKET CLOSE: Techs rise ahead of Fed meeting

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Techs rose with the rest of the market Monday, as Wall Street waited on Alan Greenspan's next decision on interest rates.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 56.72 to 2,838.02. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.21 to 10,702.19. The S&P 500 advanced 9.17 to 1,364.12.

Many observers expect the Federal Open Markets Committee to cut short-term interest rates by half a percentage point.

"Investors will step lightly between now and the Fed decision," said Milton Ezrati, senior economist at Lord Abbett & Co., which has $40 billion in assets. "The other thing is that ... we continue to get news that earnings are more vulnerable to the economic slowdown than the analytical community has anticipated."

The most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq was Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO). The stock fell $1.19 to $37.19 following comments by Cisco CEO John Chambers, who said the current fiscal quarter looked more challenging than a few weeks ago.

AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), up 53 cents to $23.84, reported pro forma fourth quarter earnings and revenue were in line with already lowered expectations.

Telecommunications equipment company Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB), down 38 cents to $60.56, said it will acquire Future Networks, a voice and data cable modem company, for $181 million cash in a deal that shores up Tellabs position in the cable data and

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (Nasdaq: MXIM), down $3.44 to $60.06, snapped up Dallas Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: DS), down $7.64 to $34.45 Monday for about $2.5 billion in stock. Analysts said the acquisition is a good deal for Maxim, but some were surprised that Dallas Semiconductor didn't hold out to fetch a higher price.

Shares of Portal Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSF), jumped $2.50 to $13.13 after the company announced a software platform deal with AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL), up 36 cents to $54.95.

Business-to-business software and services company Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA), down $1.63 to $38.38, said on Monday that it will buy Agile Software (Nasdaq: AGIL), up $7.56 to $50.38, in a $2.55 billion stock swap.

Struggling copier giant Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), up $1.03 to $7.91, reported its second-straight quarterly loss and said it will cut 4,000 jobs in the first quarter, about 4 percent of its workforce, with more job cuts planned later this year in an effort to get back on track.