Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Earnings hoist rally

Strong gains from Siebel Systems, IBM and Oracle helped keep Wednesday's interest-rate cut euphoria alive at midday Thursday, as the Nasdaq tacked on another 2 percent to Wednesday's 8 percent leap.

The tech-heavy index rose 40.24 to 2,119.68, and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 9.17 to 10,606.66.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 5 to 200.64.

IBM's (NYSE: IBM) outlook for 2001 renewed enthusiasm for the tech sector as Wall Street analysts cheered Big Blue's first-quarter results, which were posted Wednesday. Goldman Sachs put IBM on its "recommended list." Shares rose $7.62 to $114.12.

Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL), up $7.43 to $41.41, took off after its first-quarter report, despite management's cautions that tough times lay ahead and analysts lowered estimates. The good news spread to other software makers. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up $1.39 to $20.31, and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up $1.60 to $67.03.

Storage firm EMC (Nasdaq: EMC), up $3.29 to $39.95 matched analysts' lowered expectations for the first quarter, and reiterated its outlook for 20 percent revenue growth for 2001, sending its stock up 6 percent shortly after the opening bell.

Investors cheered Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL), up $1.63 to $24.42, which reported its second-quarter results. But analysts were split on the company's future, with some questioning its ability to stay on top of expectations.

Diversified computer chip maker Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE: CY), up 27 cents to $20.28, posted first-quarter results that were above previously lowered projections, citing a painful slowdown in demand in virtually every market it serves.

AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) was up 24 cents to $49.24, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 12 cents to $16.42 and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 79 cents to $19.41.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.