MIDDAY MARKETS: H-P does double duty for tech rally

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Hewlett-Packard helped fuel a mild tech rally at midday Thursday, as shares rose following its better-than-expected earnings report, and its spin-off Agilent made solid progress in its debut. The Nasdaq rose 35.21 to 3304.60, and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 126.61 to 11,009.70.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index leapt 6 to 434.64.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) was doing double duty in Thursday's tech rally. While H-P shares were up 10 5/8 to 91 5/8, or 13 percent following yesterday's earnings report, its spin-off was making waves. Shares of Hewlett-Packard spin-off Agilent Technologies Inc., (NYSE: A) raised rocketed up 16 to 46 Thursday in its market debut. The company priced its 65 million shares at $30 each.

Other IPOs include MetaSolv Software (Nasdaq: MSLV), which priced its offering of 5 million shares at $19 each, but had yet to debut. HNC spin-off Retek (Nasdaq: RETK) jumped 18 to 33, or 120 percent after pricing at $15 a share. Symyx Technologies (Nasdaq: SMMX), which providers proprietary software for the discovery of new chemical materials, rose 6 11/16 to 20 11/16 after it priced 5.538 million shares at $14 each.

Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS) hopped up 13 percent, or 3 1/4 to 27 15/16 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised its rating on computer services company to "outperform" from "neutral."

Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS) shares popped up 13 3/4 to 95 1/2, or 17 percent after CS First Boston boosted its 12-month share price target on the stock to $145 from $83.

TD Waterhouse Group, Inc. (NYSE: TWE)was up 3/8 to 19 3/4 after it posted fourth quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, in line with First Call's consensus estimate.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) shed 1/4 to 76 1/4, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) jumped 2 to 208 3/16 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) grew 2 3/8 to 158.

Among other tech bellwethers, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) rose 5/16 to 40 1/16, Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) rose 7/8 to 24 5/8 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) rose 3 7/16 to 97 3/16. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) jumped 1 7/16 to 86 3/16 and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) rose 3/16 to 77 13/16.

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) was down 1/16 to 84 15/16, and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) was down 7/8 to 70 1/8. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) gained 1 5/`6 to 76 3/8. Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) was down 3 9/16 to 106 7/16 after it got mixed reviews from analysts following Wednesday's better-than-expected earnings report.