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MIDDAY MARKETS: Conexant, Oracle boost techs

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Conexant and Oracle boosted the Nasdaq into positive territory at midday Thursday. The Nasdaq rose 76.09 to 3,969.98 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 61.79 to 11,120.39.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 14 to 532.32.

Leading the Nasdaq was Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT); analysts and investors cheered Conexant's decision to spin off its Internet infrastructure business, sending its stock up 13.31 to 50.38, or 36 percent Thursday. Software maker Oracle, up 3.19 to 85, also posted strong gains after it got an upgrade ahead of its quarterly earnings report.

Atmel (Nasdaq: ATML) also shot up 2.19 to 18.94, or 13 percent, on high volume after it announced it will sue STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), up 1 to 56.

WebMethods Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), up 6.44 to 104.5 inked a deal Thursday with EDS (NYSE: EDS), down 0.19 to 47.63 and Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA), up 9.63 to 156.63, to provide software and services.

VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT), up 2.13 to 46, has reorganized its business into three separate units, including one focused on business-to-business software.

Centura Software Corp. (Nasdaq: CNTR) jumped .56 to 5 after news that 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS), up 0.25 to 16.5, will use its database manager, RDM/Vx, in its LAN communications system.

Virata Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTA), up 6.25 to 56.44, said Thursday it expects second quarter revenues for the period ending Oct. 1 to be about $41.5 million, up 50 percent over the prior quarter's $27.7 million.

Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), up 4.75 to 77.37 Thursday reported net income of $27.4 million, or 56 cents a share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2001, 10 cents above consensus estimates, according to First Call.

Shares of Indigo N.V. (Nasdaq: INDG), up 1.38 to 7.94, shot up 20 percent after Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), up 2.31 to 107.31said it was investing $100 million in the digital color printing firm.

Infospace (Nasdaq: INSP), up 1.06 to 40.31 and Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), up 2.94 to 70.94 have signed a deal to deliver wireless Internet services to Nortel customers.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 2.13 to 108.5, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 3.25 to 45.69 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 0.69 to 56.69.

Among other leading tech issues: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 1.31 to 62.56 66.25, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 0.43 to 67.78 and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO)rose 1.81 to 63.13.