MIDDAY MARKETS: Lucent concerns add to decline

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Bad news from some top-tier technology companies sent the Nasdaq south at midday Friday. The Nasdaq slid 71.47 points to 2,490.59 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 58.51 points to 10,822.04.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 12 points to 261.41.

Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU) tumbled $1.89 to $15 on news of an SEC probe into its accounting practices. Also contributing to the decline were bellwethers like Nokia (NYSE:NOK), off $2.14 to $27.88 on a downgrade by UBS Warburg, and Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL), down $1.94 to $24.13, on cost-cutting concerns.

EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), up $1.16 to $10.06 and Sprint (NYSE: FON), down $0.25 to $24.40 reworked the terms of their 1998 alliance Friday so that both parties are open to third-party agreements.

Investors applauded Register.com's (Nasdaq: RCOM) surprise profit Friday, but one analyst cautioned that the company's fundamentals need some work. Register.com was down $0.94 to $7.75.

Credence Systems (Nasdaq: CMOS), off $0.13 to $21.38, said that it will slash its work force by 14 percent, among other cost-cutting measures, in the face of a revenue slowdown.

Shares of Audible (Nasdaq: ADBL), up $1 to $1.87, more than doubled on Friday after Microsoft increased its investment in the company by $10 million.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell $1.12 to $28.88, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up $0.44 to $35.06, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell $2.13 to $25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell $1.75 to $60.50.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) was unchanged at $14.38, AOL (NYSE: AOL) fell $0.96 to $47.8 and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell $1.63 to $28.56.