MARKET CLOSE: Wall Street yawns following rate cut

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Technology stocks posted slight gains Thursday as the Nasdaq composite inched up 10 points to close at 2,782.66. The Dow rallied up 96 points to 10,983.22 following an expected half-point reduction in interest rates.

Now that the Fed watch has concluded, investors are looking for another catalyst to carry the market through a relatively slow news period in the coming weeks.

“People long anticipated this. It probably has been the worst-kept secret in the market, that there would be a 50-basis point cut. So people had plenty of time take positions before it happened,” said Rick Meckler, senior managing director at Liberty View Capital Management. “Now, people are trying to figure out what is the next event to cause some movement, and nothing has popped up.”

AOL-Time Warner (AOL) shares moved fell $2.73 to $49.83. Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) lost $1.06 and $1.13 a share, respectively, while Yahoo (YHOO) closed off $1.25 to $36.06. CMGI (CMGI) added 50 cents to $6.63.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) trimmed 25 cents to $24.55 after it met expectations for the fourth quarter Thursday but said its first-quarter results would miss consensus estimates as its long distance revenue continues to drop.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) met estimates for its fourth quarter Thursday and said it was comfortable with current projections for fiscal 2001. The stock picked up 5 cents to $55.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) moved up 81 cents to $38.25. Nortel Networks (NT) inched up 4 cents to $38.27 and Lucent Technologies (LU) closed up 42 cents to $19.

CacheFlow Inc. (Nasdaq: CFLO) tumbled $2.25 to $15.75 after it warned third quarter sales will miss estimates. The company also sees a wider-than-expected loss.

Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP) shed $7.06 to $46.56 after it was downgraded to "hold" by Credit Suisse First Boston.

Among widely held PC makers, Dell (DELL) trimmed 19 cents to $25.94; Gateway (GTW) lost 51 cents to $20.73; Compaq (CPQ) clipped 16 cents to $23.55 and Apple Computer (AAPL) dropped 50 cents to $21.13.

Contract electronics manufacturer Celestica (NYSE: CLS) closed up $8.85 to $74.90 after it posted a strong quarter and 2001 outlook applauded by analysts on Thursday. The company received an upgrade from Prudential Securities, while estimates were raised by a host of other brokerages.

Microsoft (MSFT) added $1.31 to $62.38 while Sun Microsystems (SUNW) and Oracle (ORCL) gained 56 cents and 94 cents a share, respectively.