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MIDDAY MARKETS: Brokerage deal overshadows techs

2 min read

Technology shares got short shrift at midday Wednesday, as the market focused on Credit Suisse First Boston's purchase of rival Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. The Nasdaq tumbled 5.33 to 4,076.84 and the Dow Jones industrial average shrank 30.87 to 11,184.23.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 5 to 545.35.

In economic news, the Conference Board said its monthly index of leading economic indicators declined 0.1 percent to 105.8 last month, slightly below the unchanged rate expected by economists.

Rumors that Credit Suisse First Boston would buy rival brokerage Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (NYSE: DLJ), up 4.38 to 88.38, send DLJ's tracking stock for its online brokerage, DLJ Direct (NYSE: DIR) on a tear Tuesday. But as details of the deal are made official Wednesday, it appears DLJ Direct, down 2.13 to 8.88 is left adrift. E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP) was up 0.06 to 17.94 and Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD) fell 0.56 to 18.25.

Shares of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), up 3.06 to 42.68, got a nice bounce after analysts sent out positive notes on the company's newly announced French site.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained 0.69 to 121.69 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) rose 1.06 to 59.63.

Struggling online health site Drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP), up 0.06 to 1.25, has cut its workforce by a third as part of a restructuring, the company said Wednesday.

The move comes as many online retailers have been laying off those expensive TV ads and brand marketing in an effort to cut costs and come closer to profitability, according to a new study.

Shares of Neoware Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NWRE)jumped up 1.00 to $2.938, or 52 percent after the company reported a hefty jump in revenues.

GTSI Corp (Nasdaq: GTSI) popped 2.09 to 5.47, or 62 percent Wednesday following reports the little-known company has been awarded U.S. defense contract for worldwide military government and communications work.

Among other leading tech issues: Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 0.69 to 70.25, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) shed o.56 to 73.50, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 0.13 to 66.44 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was unchanged at 87.75.