MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs await Fed word

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Techs stalled at midday Tuesday, holding out for news from the Fed meeting. The Nasdaq rose 30.42 to 3,983.57 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 72.53 to 11,152.34.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 6 to 527.21.

Though most analysts expect the Federal Open Market Committee to leave interest rates unchanged, investors will be all ears for hints of what the Fed's stance on inflation is when news from the meeting is released at 2:15 EDT.

The most actively traded Nasdaq stock Tuesday morning was DSL.net Inc. (Nasdaq: DSLN), which blasted up 102 percent, or 3 3/16 to 6 5/16 Tuesday on news it had inked a deal with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to offer digital subscriber line (DSL) access and services to IBM's small business customers.

Lehman Bros. took a bold step Tuesday and only gave Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI), down 13 3/8 to 128 5/8, a "neutral" rating, while the company's other two underwriters rated it "outperform" and "buy."

Ask Jeeves Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ), up 1 to 21 9/16, announced Tuesday a partnership with Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN) that will integrate its e-commerce and customer-support software with Vignette's e-business platform.

Shares of MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP), up 2 7/16 to 10 3/16, jumped up more than 30 percent after the firm inked a deal that settled a copyright lawsuit with Sony Music Entertainment.

Online healthcare site drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP), down 1 5/32 to 1 3/16, got its lifeline just in time. The company said Tuesday morning that it had received an investment package worth $20 million from Prime Ventures, JF Shea Ventures, Cramer-Rosenthal-McGlynn, Inc., and RMC Capital.

Competition in the online ad market should be fierce in the third quarter, according to Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget. And while things may be tense for smaller ads supported sites, big guns like America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), up 1/16 to 56 7/8, and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), down 2 7/16 to 128, should be able to weather the storm.

Among other leading tech issues: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 11/16 to 72 3/4, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) gained 1 1/8 to 71 3/4, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 5/16 to 65 13/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) dropped 5/16 to 82 7/8.