MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs await Cisco earnings

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Investor confidence in upcoming earnings from Cisco helped drive technology stocks higher at midday Tuesday. The Nasdaq rose 31.63 points to 2,674.84 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 4.79 points to 10,970.64.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 5 points to 294.08.

Investors are keeping a close eye on Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), up $1.06 to $35.63. They're waiting for the networking equipment maker's financial results, due after market close Tuesday, to gauge the overall health of the technology market.

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), down $0.22 to $14.22, slammed a new report from one of its harshest critics, a Lehman Brothers analyst who warned that the Internet retailer faces a ''creditor squeeze'' in the second half of 2001 and urged that investors ''avoid'' its convertible bonds.

In a widely anticipated move, fiber-optic technology maker JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), up $2.75 to $52.75, on Tuesday said Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), up $0.22 to $35.98, has agreed to buy its laser-chip subsidiary, clearing the path for its merger with rival SDL.

Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC), down $7.88 to $56.5, took a hit Tuesday, a day after the company reiterated its outlook for the next two quarters, but said it was "on alert" for further order cancellations.

CacheFlow (Nasdaq: CFLO), down $1.13 to $12.88, managed to hit lowered revenue estimates in its third quarter Tuesday, but missed earnings estimates, slashed jobs and said its CFO is leaving. The company also painted a bleak outlook for the fourth quarter.

Cognizant Technology Solutions (Nasdaq: CTSH), up $1.81 to $48.31, beat analysts' targets for its fourth quarter on Tuesday. Net income and revenue both rose more than 70 percent compared to a year ago.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up $1 to $35.68, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose $0.88 to $28.38 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose $1.69 to $63.63.

AOL (NYSE: AOL) rose $0.63 to $50 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained $0.63 to $35.13.