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Midday Markets: IBM booms

Big Blue soared anew at midday, pulling the Dow and the tech sector higher. The Nasdaq rose 23 to 2,630 and the @Net added 1 to 337. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 107 to 11,108.

The good news from IBM, coupled with April's Producer Price Index numbers coming in on target, boosted indexes. The PPI, a broad gauge how much companies are paying for raw materials, rose 0.5 percent last month and the core rate, which excludes fuel and food prices, gained 0.1 percent - in line with expectations. If the core rate had gained significantly more than expected, it could have been used as a sign that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. The central bank meets next on May 18.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), making up more than 9 percent of the Dow, rose 16 to 241 1/2 on optimism about its e-business. Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 15/16 to 44 7/8.

CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) climbed 8 to 247 3/4 after Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) invested $200 million in the investment company. Gateway added 1/8 to 69 5/16.

EBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) gained 1 1/4 to 200 after teaming with Skytel Corp. (Nasdaq: SKYT) to allow eBay users to get auction updates via pagers, cell phones and other wireless means. SkyTel slipped 1 5/32 to 20 9/16.

Hitsgalore.com Inc. (Nasdaq: HITT) dropped 3 to 9 after Dorian Reed, its founder and chief technology officer, quit as a director and an officer at the company after accusations surfaced on Tuesday that he cheated customers at a previous job.

Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), which is majority-owned by CMGi, added 7 5/8 to 114 5/8 after reiterating that it would meet expectations for its third quarter. Results for the quarter are due out after market close on Tuesday. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 3 3/16 to 146 1/8, America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) dipped 3/16 to 138 1/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) crept up 11/16 to 170 5/8.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) slipped 1 3/4 to 23 9/16 on speculation that the company will warn analysts that their expectations are too high. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 9/16 to 81 1/16 and Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA) slipped 5/16 to 45.

TimeWarner Telecom Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC) rose 3 5/8 to 24 3/8 in its second day trading.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) climbed 1 15/16 to 120 11/16 another day after beating expectations and Ascend Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ASND) added 1/4 to 100. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) lost 7/16 to 62 1/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) dropped 1/2 to 19.