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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs crawl ahead

Techs eked out gains at midday Thursday, despite several companies that tanked on bad news. The Nasdaq rose 12.31 to 4,023.32 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.12 to 11,149.77.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 5 to 543.40.

Vicinity (Nasdaq: VCNT) tumbled 2 3/16 to 11 13/16 and got a downgrade from Bear Stearns after it said losses and marketing expenses would increase over the next nine months. The company's fourth quarter results met analysts' estimates.

Two companies plunged on customer concerns: shares of Next Level Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTV) tanked Thursday, dropping more than 50 percent on concerns that the company could lose a big customer.

Cysive Inc. (Nasdaq: CYSV) plummeted 6 1/32 to 7 31/32 after forecasting weaker-than-expected third quarter financial results, due to a customer's failure to pay up.

VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX) rose 7 to 44 1/8, or 19 percent Thursday as analysts praised its fourth quarter results.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc (NYSE: VOD), has filed for a $5 billion public offering.

Online advertising network and interactive media firm 24/7 Media Inc. (Nasdaq: TFSM), said Thursday it has bought Internet marketing technologies firm Website Results in a stock deal valued at $95 million.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 5/8 to 133 3/16 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) rose 9/16 to 59 5/16.

Among other leading tech issues: Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 9/16 to 70 3/16, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) slipped 11/16 to 73 15/16, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 11/16 to 66 1/2, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 7/8 to 127 9/16, IBM (NYSE: IBM) gained 1 1/16 to 124 5/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 1 15/16 to 84 13/16. >