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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs lose confidence

The selling spree continued at midday Thursday, as investors bailed out of techs and bid-up blue-chips. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 96.94 to 4,547.73, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 75.70 to 11,094.42.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 16 to 620.62.

Techs were continuing their confidence crisis after remarks from a couple of market specialists. Goldman Sachs strategist Abby Joseph Cohen dumped some technology shares from her model portfolio Tuesday and Templeton Funds' emerging markets money manager Mark Mobius said Wednesday recent volatility could herald the onset of a tech crash.

Declines in the Nasdaq were led by Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), the most active stock, which fell 1 13/16 to 74 ?. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), down 13/16 to 81 11/16 and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), down 2 ? to 129 3/8, were also giving the downswing momentum.

Veritas was one of the day's few winners, shooting up ? to 143. Storage technology company Seagate (NYSE: SEG), down 9 ? to 64 ?, said it would go private, and sell its 33 percent stake of Veritas Software (Nasdaq: VRTS) back to Veritas while a private investment group led by Silver Lake Partners would buy Seagate's operations for cash.

Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS) plunged 36 percent, or 18 ? to 31 5/8 after it said it would cut 18 percent of its workforce and got a downgrade from Goldman Sachs.

An investment in old media by Internet incubator CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI), down 2 5/16 to 109 ? boosted publishing company Primedia (NYSE: PRM), which rose 6 ? to 33 7/8 after announcing it plans to go through a refocusing.

724 Solutions (Nasdaq: SVNX), down 8 ? to 133 ? said Thursday it would buy for about $127 million. It also inked a deal to buy YRLess Internet Corp.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)was down 1 5/16 to 105 7/8 after reports it planned further concessions in its antitrust trial. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 3/4 to 65 1/2, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 5 1/16 to 182 1/8 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1 1/16 to 67 1/16.