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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs pass 3,000 mark

The Nasdaq was in rally mode at midday Tuesday, rising above the psychologically important 3,000 mark, helped in part by positive comments from Goldman Sachs strategist Abby Joseph Cohen. The Nasdaq gained 133.46 to 3,100.18 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 117.55 to 10,634.80.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 23 to 402.27.

Cohen, Goldman Sachs & Co.'s bullish strategist, said equity valuations are looking the most attractive they have been all year and that the S & P's 500 Index is undervalued by 15 percent looking ahead for the next 12 months. "The fundamental picture remains favorable," Reuters reported the analyst as saying.

Almost all of the leading tech issues were up: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO)was bumped up 2.31 to 52.69, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 2.25 to 40.44 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 2.06 to 68.5.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained 12 percent, or 2.81 to 27.56, after announcing an agreement with Citigroup (NYSE: C). It also announced a deal with Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) at Comdex late Monday.

Shares of Citigroup were up 1.06 to 51.56 while Compaq rose 1.76 to 27. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 1.31 to 29.13, AOL (NYSE: AOL) gained 1.55 to 50.62 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) was up 3.44 to 58.75.

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), up 1.94 to 77, announced it will put $500 million into Qualcomm Ventures, a new organization that will invest in startup companies to support the adoption of CDMA technology and drive usage of the wireless Internet.

USInternetworking Inc. (Nasdaq: USIX) jumped 40 percent, up 1.5 to 5.25, after inking alliances with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Aether Systems (Nasdaq: AETH), up 10.31 to 100. The company also secured more $300 million in equity and credit financing.

CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) dropped 0.25 to 14.25 on news that the company will sell off its iCast and businesses. The company plans to reach profitability by the end of fiscal 2001.

MicroTouch Systems (Nasdaq: MTSI) shares gained over 38 percent, up 5.69 to 20.56, buoyed by yesterday's news that Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (NYSE: MMM) will purchase the company for around $160 million.

BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) shares were up 11 percent, 7.25 TO 70.25, ahead of the applications software maker's third-quarter earnings report that is expected to easily beat Wall Street estimates.