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MIDDAY MARKETS: Economic news depresses techs

Techs stumbled at midday Friday as a report indicated the economy is slowing even faster than expected, and the Nasdaq absorbed more profit warnings. The Nasdaq lost 71.86 to 2,710.93 and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 26.83 to 10,956.80.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 11 to 296.04.

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in January to 4.2 percent, its highest level in more than a year, and worker wages did not rise at all, the government said on Friday in a report that came amid numerous other signs of a weakening economy.

Shares of chip maker National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM), down $1.06 to $26.25, slipped in early trade after the company joined rivals in warning that slower demand for its products would hurt its earnings in the current quarter.

Critical Path Inc. (Nasdaq: CPTH) is in a critical condition after the company said Friday officials may have fudged fourth quarter results. The Nasdaq halted trading on the stock.

Copper Mountain (Nasdaq: CMTN) shares dropped $1.91 to $5.91 on the heels of the latest cut to its revenue projection.

Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL) fell $0.19 to $2.75 as it reported a fourth quarter loss Friday and missed consensus estimates amid weak sales. On a conference call with analysts, officials said that aside from a slight dip in revenue in the first quarter, the company sees growth in 2001.

Silicon Storage (Nasdaq: SSTI) saw its shares lose $0.94 to $13.6 Friday, after the company missed estimates for its fourth quarter and cut its 2001 outlook due to cancelled orders and a slowing PC sector. The stock was downgraded, but most analysts remained positive on the company's long-term outlook.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell $1.38 to $36.88, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was down $0.75 to $37.06, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell $1.56 to $28.5 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose $0.38 to $62.75.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell $1.25 to $15, AOL (NYSE: AOL) slipped $1.7 to $48.13 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) shed $1.18 to $34.88.