MIDDAY MARKETS: Rambus lifts techs, Dow slides

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Rambus led the Nasdaq up, while Xerox headed blue-chip declines at midday Friday. Trading was especially rocky due to the triple-witching expiration of options. The Nasdaq rose 5.83 to 3,851.57 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 118.79 to 10,596.03.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 8 to 467.89.

Construction starts on new homes and apartments tumbled in May to their lowest level in nearly a year as rising credit costs sapped the economy's most interest-rate-sensitive sector.

Volume was uneven due to triple-witching -- a quarterly event that sees the simultaneous expiration of futures, options on stocks indexes and options on individual stocks .

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), down 4 3/16 to 21 1/8, said second quarter earnings will likely be below market expectations.

Covad (Nasdaq: COVD) said Friday it will buy privately held BlueStar Communications Inc., a provider of broadband and Internet services for small and medium-sized businesses in the Southeastern U.S. Shares were off 7 1/16 to 18 3/16.

Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS) flew up 25 5/16 to 82, or 45 percent Friday after a four-for-one stock-split took effect and a deal with Toshiba. The Toshiba deal could signal more revenues from patent licensing. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 1/4 to 128 1/2 and AMD (NYSE: AMD) fell 1/2 to 82 3/8. Chip stocks overall moved higher.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 1/16 to 66 7/16, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) gained 9/16 to 92 3/4 Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was down 7/16 to 82 1/16 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 1/8 to 66 3/4..

Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) was up 1 1/4 to 24 5/8 following its earnings report after Thursday's bell; Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) which also reported better-than-expected results, was down 8 to 116 3/4.

Circuit City (NYSE: CC) was down 1 7/16 to 35 15/16 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share Friday, on target with estimates.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 5/16 to 46 5/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 2 3/4 to 136 15/16 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 3/4 to 54 1/4.