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Midday Markets: Techs buoyed by Cisco

Techs pushed higher for third day at midday on Wednesday on Cisco's strong results. The Nasdaq gained 29 to 2,596 and the @Net rose 5 to 336. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 47 to 10,978.

The indexes treaded water at midday after the new that Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin will step down on July 4, replaced by Deputy Secretary Lawrence Summers. Rubin was responsible for the bailout of Mexico and the U.S.'s present strong dollar economic policy. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1 to 1,356 and the small cap Russell 2000 gained to 448.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 5 7/64 to 116 63/64 after topping third quarter expectations. Cisco, which makes the majority of the equipment used by companies that use the Web, boosted confidence in the tech market as a whole. Ascend Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ASND) gained 1 11/16 to 97 15/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 3 5/16 to 63 5/8.

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) added 6 1/8 to 98 13/16 after unveiling on Tuesday a communications chip for high-speed data transmission using copper lines. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dipped 3/16 to 62 1/8 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) was unchanged at 19 1/2.

The online recruiting service Careerbuilder Inc. (Nasdaq: CBDR) rose 5 to 18 in its inaugural trading day. Shares opened at 17 1/2 after the 4.5 million-share offering was priced at $13 a share. TheStreet.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TSCM), which began trading yesterday, slipped 3 1/4 to 56 3/4.

ITurf Inc. (Nasdaq: TURF) climbed 7 1/4 to 38 7/8 after inking a 2-year deal with America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) to feature the company's sites on the online service's properties. AOL dipped 2 5/8 to 138 15/16, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dropped 3 1/8 to 145 1/4, and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 3 3/4 to 170 1/4.

Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) gained 10 1/8 to 108 3/8 after USA Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: USAI) formally announced its exit from its proposed merger with the portal. "We still believe Lycos needs to partner or merge with another company for long-term success," said James Preissler, analyst at PaineWebber, in a report. "If a partner does not materialize in the near future, we believe Lycos could be potentially seen as a distressed property."

Portal Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSF) climbed 20 1/2 to 52 1/8 after Cisco announced its $39 million investment in the online billing and customer management software company.

TCA Cable TV Inc. (Nasdaq: TCAT) advanced 7 15/16 to 60 after Cox Communications Inc. (NYSE: COX) agreed to buy the cable company.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 13/16 to 43 7/16, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) rose 3 1/16 to 224 1/16 and Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) declined 5/8 to 68 1/16.

Among software makers, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 15/16 to 80 13/16 and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) lost 1/4 to 24 9/16.