MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs eager for Fed news

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Another economic report tipped the scales towards a big interest rate cut, exciting the markets at midday Wednesday. The Nasdaq rose 10.77 to 2,849.12 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 35.02 to 10,916.22.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 3 to 325.78.

The powerhouse U.S. economy slowed sharply in the closing quarter of 2000, posting the weakest growth in 5-1/2 years as consumers clamped their purses shut and goods piled up on store shelves, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The news boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut rates by a half-percentage-point or more when it announced the outcome of its meeting today.

AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL), up $0.59 to $54.9, posting financial earnings that topped Wall Street's expectations, marking the first time the online and traditional media giants reported earnings since the merger. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost $0.06 to $39.63.

Analysts panned Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), down $0.94 to $18, after the online retailer's fourth quarter earnings report showed slowing sales.

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) dropped $6.63 to $46.13 percent after the company cut its revenue outlook. Analysts lowered estimates, but were split on the company's long-term strength.

PeopleSoft (Nasdaq: PSFT) shed 10 percent Wednesday, despite praise from some analysts following the company's report of better-than-expected fourth quarter.

In a rare bit of good news related to Lucent (NYSE: LU), down 0.6 to 18.51, spin-off Avaya (NYSE: AV), up 0.29 to 17.28 met analyst expectations for its first quarter and said it would more than double its earnings in 2001.

Genuity Inc (Nasdaq: GENU), off $0.13 to $4, posted a fourth-quarter loss due to investments in its network infrastructure investments and slow order growth from Internet service providers and telecommunications companies.

Cisco(Nasdaq: CSCO) lost $0.56 to $38.56, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose $0.56 to $37.56, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell $0.06 to $30.25 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell $0.75 to $62.63.