MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs eye IPOs, blocked Sprint merger

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The blocking of Worldcom and Sprint's planned merger, and a hot IPO caught investors' attention at midday Tuesday. The Nasdaq fell 12.18 to 3,899.94 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 39.95 to 10,582.94.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index climbed 2 to 484.69.

Investors weren't betting on bad news from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting. After six interest rate hikes in the past year, the Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged.

Sprint (NYSE: FON), up 1/8 to 59 11/16, has been notified by the Department of Justice of its intent to file suit to block the company's merger with WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), up 1 1/16 to 38 9/16. .

On the IPO front, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) jumped 35 41/64 to 50 41/64 after it priced 6 million shares at 15 each for what is expected to be a strong debut Tuesday.

Stratos Lightwave (Nasdaq: STLW), priced at $21, is sure to make waves in its debut. ClickSoftware (Nasdaq: CKCM) and eFunds (Nasdaq: EFDS) also priced their shares.

Media Metrix (Nasdaq: MMXI) lost 2 1/2 to 25 3/4 and Jupiter Communications (Nasdaq: JPTR) rose 7/16 to 23 7/16 after the companies said they will merge in a $414 million stock swap deal that creates a one-stop Web statistic shop.

Harmonic (Nasdaq: HLIT), down 17 3/16 to 23 5/8, crashed 42 percent after the communications equipment provider said it would fall short of analysts' estimates this quarter.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO)rose 3 3/16 to 122 1/2, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 9/16 to 34 1/2 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) rose 7/16 to 52 5/16.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 1/8 to 134 5/16, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 15/16 to 78 9/16.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 63/64 to 63 51/64, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) fell 1 1/16 to 89 3/8 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 9/16 to 82 1/8.