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MIDDAY MARKETS: Cisco, inflation fears weigh on techs

Cisco and inflation fears pulled a double whammy on tech stocks and the Nasdaq at midday Monday. The Nasdaq dropped 79.49 to 3,737.33 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 22.10 to 10,599.96.

Techs were dragged lower by Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), down 3 1/2 to 64 1/4, after a Barron's report questioned the network equipment maker's valuation. A revaluation of Friday's strong jobs report, which could signal increased tightening of interest rates ahead, may have also contributed to the decline.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 11 to 491.29.

Merger news was also driving techs Monday. Qlogic (Nasdaq: QLGC), down 21 7/16 to 78 1/2, is paying $1.7 billion, a hefty premium for Ancor Communications (Nasdaq: ANCR), which was up 8 13/16 to 40.

Japanese company NTT Communications (NYSE: NTT), down 9/16 to 65 11/16, will buy Verio (Nasdaq: VRIO), up 22 9/16 to 58 1/2, for about $5.5 billion.

JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JSDU) fell 3 3/8 to 90 7/16 Monday after announcing it bought Fujian Casix Laser Inc., its first venture into China.

White Pine Software (Nasdaq: WPNE), up 1 13/16 to 17 3/8, is changing its name to CUseeMe Networks and will trade under its new symbol (Nasdaq: CUSM) by May 15.

Shares of legally troubled online music company (Nasdaq: MPPP) revived 3 9/16 to 13 15/16, or 34 percent Monday after announcing a licensing agreement with BMI.

Integral Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISYS) tumbled l 3 3/16 to 14 1/4, or 18 percent Monday after a downgrade followed reports of slowing growth in Friday's quarterly report.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 5/32 to 70 31/32 as investors awaited its proposal in response to the government's break-up plans, expected for Wednesday.

Among other leading tech issues, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL)was down 1 3/4 to 48 1/8, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) sank 3 5/8 to 119 3/4 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL)was off 2 7/16 to 74 3/8 Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 1 9/16 to 56 15/16, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) dropped 1 11/16 to 124 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) fell 1 7/16 to 55 9/16.