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MIDDAY MARKETS: Earnings inspire rally

Another batch of earnings helped rally techs again at midday Tuesday. The Nasdaq rose 27.89 to 3,496.58 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 119.50 to 10,391.22.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 10 to 474.68.

FreeMarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT) was up 5.72 to 55.69, though analysts had mixed reactions to the company's third quarter report. The company's CEO said he's comfortable with progress, and sees growth "steady going forward."

GlobeSpan, Inc. (Nasdaq: GSPN), up 11.47 to 101.84, said third quarter income was 18 cents a share, much better than the 11 cents a share expected by First Call's consensus. Shares soared as analysts reiterated bullish ratings Tuesday.

National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) plunged 11.88 to 25.06 following its warning that second- and third-quarter sales and earnings will fall short of estimates as sales in its PC and wireless divisions slow. The company cited customers' backlog as a reason for the slow-down.

Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), up 0.31 to 15.81, became the latest online broker to impress Wall Street with an upside surprise. The company said Tuesday it broke even in its fiscal fourth quarter, topping consensus estimates by 3 cents a share.

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (Nasdaq: MFNX) was up 12 percent ahead of Tuesday's opening bell after it reported third quarter net loss was 17 cents a share, much narrower than First Call's prediction of 26 cents a share.

StorageNetworks (Nasdaq: STOR), down 1.93 to 74.13, said third quarter results easily beat expectations as the company posted a loss of 37 cents a share. First Call Corp.'s forecast was for a loss of 44 cents a share.

Services firm marchFirst (Nasdaq: MRCH) plunged 6.75 to 5.06 after badly missing expectations for the third quarter.

Communications equipment maker Andrew Corp. (Nasdaq: ANDW), up 3.75 to 25.38, said its fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 84 percent and earnings edged above analysts' estimates, boosted by strong sales growth in all regions.

Juno Online Services (Nasdaq: JWEB), up 0.25 to 3.56, topped analysts' expectations for the third quarter, and saw the number of active subscribers rise 9 percent from the second quarter.

Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q), up 3 to 48.37, topped expectations for the third quarter, posting a pro forma profit of $231 million, or 14 cents per share, well above First Call consensus of 9 cents per share.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 2.06 to 32.06, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.42 to 49.36, and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) jumped 2.31 to 63.94.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) grew 1 to 56.88, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 0.31 to 43.62, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was down 0.25 to 61.88, and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained 1.94 to 36.