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MIDDAY MARKETS: Earnings inspire rally

An onrush of solid quarterly reports outweighed profit warnings from Lucent and Conexant Thursday. The Nasdaq rose 110.25 to 4,165.88 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 126.93 to 10,823.01.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 17 to 537.75.

On the IPO front, Airspan Networks (Nasdaq: AIRN), up 24 1/8 to 39 1/8, a supplier of wireless communications systems, priced at $15 per share for trading Thursday.

A few profit warnings got techs off to a bad start; Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU),down 9 11/16 to 54 13/16, warned that its earnings and sales growth for the next two quarters will be lower than expected.

Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT), down 10 1/2 to 38 7/16, tumbled after a mixed third-quarter report.

Several companies also reported strong quarters; Sprint (NYSE: FON), down 1 3/16 to 43 13/16, which recently canceled its merger with larger rival WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), down 5/8 to 45 5/8, topped estimates.

Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), up 9 3/8 to 91 3/8, said Thursday that second quarter earnings were 21 cents a share, above First Call's expectation of 19 cents a share.

Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT), up 1 3/4 to 82 1/2, said Thursday its second quarter loss was less than expected, and upped revenue projections for its communications business.

Viant Corp. (Nasdaq: VIAN), up 4 to 39 11/16, said Thursday second-quarter earnings were 6.3 million, or 11 cents per diluted share,topping First Call's expected profit of 6 cents a share.

In non-earnings related news, German media giant Bertelsmann AG announced it will buy CDNow in an all cash deal valued at $3 a share, or $117 million.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO)rose 7 1/4 to 141 1/4, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 2 1/4 to 43 1/8 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 2 1/16 to 61 7/16.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 3 21/64 to 141 29/64, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1 1/4 to 74 3/8.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 2 7/16 to 69 1/4, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 4 to 97 15/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 3 9/16 to 77 5/16.