Midday Markets: Techs grind to a halt

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Techs treaded water at midday on Tuesday. The Nasdaq dropped 3 to 2,520 and the @Net fell 3 to 297. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 to 10,824.

The Dow slid ahead of key economic reports due out in coming weeks. This Friday, retail sales and the Producer Price Index will be reported for May. The following Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index will be reported. The PPI and CPI is a basic gauge of what companies pay for raw materials and what consumers pay for staple items - crucial data when looking for indications of inflation.

If these data come in greater than expected, there is a greater chance that the Federal Reserve will intervene to cool down the economy with a rate hike. The central bank has left rates unchanged at 4.25 percent for nearly two years.

Inprise Inc. (Nasdaq: INPR) rose35 percent, up 1 7/16 to 5 7/16, after Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) spent $125 million for its licenses and for a stake in the business software company.

Infoseek Inc. (Nasdaq: SEEK) rose for a third day, up 6 15/16 to 49 15/16 after the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) confirmed earlier today that it plans to buy the rest of the Web portal that it doesn't already own. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) slipped 1 13/16 to 150 1/16 and Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) gained 3 3/4 to 96.

At Home Corp. (Nasdaq: ATHM), which owns Excite Inc., fell 4 1/2 to 99 1/4. An U.S. District Court said on Monday that the city of Portland may have the right to force AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) to let rival Internet service providers use its networks. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) dropped 1 1/2 to 113 1/2 and MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPG) added 1 5/32 to 76 7/32.

Drkoop.com Inc. (Nasdaq: KOOP) rose 56 percent in its first day trading, up 5 1/8 to 14 1/8. Shares of the initial offering priced at the top of its range on Monday at $9 a share. Koop opened at 12 5/8 earlier. Healtheon Corp. (Nasdaq: HLTH), which owns web MD, rose 10 15/16 to 90 7/8.

eToys Inc. (Nasdaq: ETYS) lost 2 7/16 to 50 7/8 after Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced plans to sell toys online. Amazon shares edged up 11/16 to 118 1/16.

Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY) rose 7 1/4 to 59 after teaming with Cybersource Corp., an online transactions software company.

Intergraph Corp. (Nasdaq: INGR) fell 1 15/32 to 8 3/8 after a federal court ruled that Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) had no right to use the company's "Clipper" technology. Intel dipped 1/2 to 52 15/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) dipped 1/8 to 17 13/16.

Intermedia Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ICIX) may have shown something Wall Street didn't like on Monday. The telecommunications service unveiled its services package aimed at the small- and mid-sized business market to analysts yesterday. Shares dropped 1 3/4 to 23 in noontime trading.

Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) gained 7 to 108 1/2 after a BancBoston Robertson Stephens analyst touted the online transaction company at an investment conference.

Value America Inc. (Nasdaq: VUSA) rose 3 1/2 to 28 3/8 after the online retailer added six new members to its board, including executives at FedEx and Global Crossing Ltd.

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) declined 1 to 22 7/8after a negative report from a USB Piper Jaffray analyst. Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 1 1/8 to 34 5/8 and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 2 1/8 to 118 3/8.

Among software makers, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which finally launched Windows 2000, climbed 1 13/16 to 81 7/16. Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA) advanced 1 15/16 to 52 and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) dipped 7/8 to 27 5/8.