MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs celebrate Intuit earnings

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Techs rallied at midday Wednesday as good earnings from Intuit helped sustain enthusiasm over the Fed's decision not to touch interest rates. The Nasdaq rose 13.65 to 3,973.86 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.10 to 11,140.25.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 2 to 526.45.

Stocks celebrated modestly after Tuesday's announcements from the Federal Reserve Open Market, which indicated the Fed still believes inflation remains a threat.

Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) raced up 7 7/16 to 53 1/2 after the company beat estimates in its fourth quarter, and predicted stronger growth ahead. The company also announced a deal with Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP), up 1 3/4 to 5 5/16.

Broadband firms were jockeying for position Wednesday, with several deals and announcements being made. SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), up 9/16 to 40 3/16, said it has begun market trials of neighborhood broadband gateways. Covad (Nasdaq: COVD), down 1/16 to 15, was among the carriers announcing Project Pronto participation.

Multiple Zones International (Nasdaq: MZON) blasted ahead 83 percent, or 3 1/4 to 7 1/8, on a deal with Microsoft to become its primary source for computer products and services.

Visual Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: VNWK) was down 4 3/16 to 6 5/8 following Tuesday night's news that the company won't meet its already lowered estimates for the year.

The week's sole IPO, O2Micro International Ltd. (Nasdaq: OIIM), priced 4 million shares at $9 each, the top of its $7-9 range, for trading Wednesday

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), down 1/8 to 36 3/8, is getting into the car business, announcing plans to launch a car-buying service with Greenlight.com Thursday.

In an effort to boost its name recognition, CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI), up 2 11/16 to 40 7/16, has acquired naming rights to the New England Patriots new football stadium, expected to open in 2002.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 1 1/2 to 126 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) was unchanged at 57 3/4.

Among other leading tech issues: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 3/8 to 72 1/2, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 3/4 to 65 9/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) lost 1 3/8 to 82 3/16.