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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs post modest gains

Techs were outpacing the Dow at midday Monday, continuing last week's rally as merger action stirred things up among online trading issues. The Nasdaq rose 9.47 to 2,975.90, and the Dow Jones industrial average retreated 37.00 to 10692.86.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index leapt 3 to 359.24.

The October National Association of Purchasing Management index (NAPM) of manufacturing activity came in just a bit higher than expected; the index slipped to 56.6 from 57.8 in September, indicating that demand for U.S. goods remains strong.

Wit Capital Group (Nasdaq: WITC) jumped 28 percent Monday, as the company said it will buy SoundView Technology Group for about $320 million in stock. The move bolsters its Internet/technology investment banking.

Shares in Wit Capital were up 5 to 22 9/16. Wit competes with E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP), up 1 1/8 to 24 15/16, or 5 percent, and traditional firms such as Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, which distributes IPO shares via DLJ Direct (NYSE: DIR), up 1/8 to 14 1/4. Knight-Trimark (Nasdaq: NITE) was also up 2 11/16 to 28 3/4, or 10 percent on high volume.

Adaptec, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) rose 11/16 to 45 11/16 after announcing it will buy Distributed Processing Technology for $235 million in cash and stock.

Ebay (Nasdaq: EBAY) was up 3 1/16 to 138 3/16 after it said it was hooking up with, a privately held online marketplace for business surplus. The company will get $22 million in third-round financing from eBay and others.

AT&T Corp.(NYSE: T) went up 5/8 to 47 3/8. The U.S. long-distance telephone company, said it would form a publicly traded Latin American unit with operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Semiconductor bigwig Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) gained 2 15/16 to 100 1/4 after unveiling a new chip that allows cellular phones to operate from any wireless network in the world. The chip will up Motorola's competition with chip makers Texas Instruments (NYSE: TI), even at 86 1/2 and Qualcomm Inc.,(Nasdaq: QCOM), up 4 1/16 to 226 13/16. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 3/16 to 77 5/8. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) sank 1 1/8 to 69 1/2, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 1 11/16 to 180 3/4 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 4 1/8 to 133 7/16. .

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 3/16 to 93 3/8 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sank 5/16 to 97 15/16. Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) rose 3/8 to 40 1/2, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) climbed 1/8 to 19 1/4.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 3/4 to 73 3/4 and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) rose 1 to 65 3/16.