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MIDDAY MARKETS: EMC and Brocade lead decline

Brocade Communications Systems and EMC led technology stocks in decline at midday Thursday. The Nasdaq slid 16.33 points to 2,252.61 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 32.58 points to 10,494.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was unchanged at 232.86.

Citing an "uncertain U.S. economic climate," data storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC), down $2.95 to $40.00, toned down its sales growth projections for 2001. EMC said it still expects to meet its $12 billion revenue target for 2001, but added that it would grow sales 25 percent to 35 percent for the year.

EMC's warning was the latest bad news for the storage sector. Shares had already dropped across the board after Brocade's (Nasdaq: BRCD) latest earnings report soured analysts' outlook on storage stocks, leading to a round of downgrades. Brocade fell $3.31 to $41.37, Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP) was off $2.95 to $22.62 and McData (Nasdaq: MCDT) was off $1.56 to $32.75.

Consumer-electronics retailer RadioShack (NYSE: RSH), down $4.70 to $37.75, said fourth-quarter profits rose almost 20 percent, boosted by strong sales of wireless communications products and satellite dish systems, but results fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

On the acquisition front, online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), off $2.38 to $43.31, has agreed to buy French auction site iBazar for as much as $112 million in stock.

Siemens said on Thursday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT), up $10.69 to $23.06 in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The acquisition bolsters the German company's position in the broadband access arena.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose $1.06 to $26.19, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 5 cents a share to $31.25, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 25 cents a share to $23.25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell $1.06 to $55.18.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 25 cents a share to $11.69, AOL (NYSE: AOL) dropped $1.36 to $43.04 and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) slid 63 cents a share to $25.50.

ZDII staff and news wire reports contributed to this roundup.