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MIDDAY MARKET: Techs continue to slide

The Nasdaq slipped further below the 3,000 mark at midday Tuesday. The tech-laden index fell 77.81 to 2,802.68 while the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.27 to 10,548.34.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 4 to 357.14.

In economic news, the Conference Board reported consumer confidence for November came in at 133.5, weaker than expected, and below the October number of 135.8.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was the most actively traded decliner, down 3.25 to 67.44. Among other leading tech issues Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) fell 0.88 to 43.06, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) dropped 0.06 to 23.06.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), down 2.31 or 25.69, or 8 percent, and eToys (Nasdaq: ETYS), down 0.44 to 1.56, or 22 percent, gave up gains after a report that the e-tailers did well over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Other Internet stocks were also down; AOL (NYSE: AOL) lost 1.07 to 42.9 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 1.25 to 38.88.

Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: ARW), up 0.69 to 23.56, said it is comfortable with the original fourth quarter earnings expectations of 1.07 a share.

Catapult Communications (Nasdaq: CATT) flew up 18 percent, or 1.94 to 12.93 after raising its forecasts for the current and second quarter, as well as fiscal year 2001.

Suffering stock prices stand in the way of paying its preferred stock dividend, Rhythms NetConnections Inc. (Nasdaq: RTHM), down 0.06 to 1.59, said Tuesday. The company will defer payment of its $5.1 million quarterly dividend on its 6.75 percent Series F Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock.

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), down 3.31 to 94.25, said it will snap up Israeli-based VisionTech Ltd., a supplier of digital video/audio MPEG-2 compression and decompression chips for 7.96 million shares, or about $776 million based on Monday's closing price.

Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), down 1.31 to 104.69, received a thumbs up from analysts Tuesday following the completion of the company's cash and stock deal that privatized Seagate Technology.

Wink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WINK), up 0.67 to 9.44, and Comcast Cable Communications Inc. said Tuesday that they have signed a deal to include Wink's interactive TV services with the cable company's digital services.