MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs post modest gains

3 min read

Investors ignored the day's economic data, which contradicts recent signs the economy is cooling, and bid techs up at midday Monday. The Nasdaq rose 27.08 to 3872.42 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 124.63 to 10,529.38.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 7 to 481.36.

Mergers were inspiring some ups and downs Monday, while investors held out ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rates, which begins Tuesday. The day's economic data on home sales went against the trend of recent indicators suggesting the economy is slowing. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales were up 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.09 million, higher than April's revised rate of 4.88 million, and above economists' expectations.

UnitedGlobalCom Inc., (Nasdaq: UCOMA) which offers high-speed communications services in Europe, rose 8 5/16 to 52 1/2, or 21 percent as it said it will acquire certain assets from Liberty Media Corp. and in return make AT&T's (NYSE: T) cable programming company its largest shareholder.

But AT&T (NYSE: T) fell 1 3/8 to 33 after Salomon Smith Barney cut its earnings per share estimate for 2000 to $2.33 from $2.40. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) tumbled 2 1/4 to 30 1/8 after Lehman Brothers changed its rating to "outperform" from "buy".

Webvan Group (Nasdaq: WBVN), down 1 11/32 to 7 3/8, said Monday it will acquire HomeGrocer.com (Nasdaq: HOMG), down 1 1/8 to 6 31/32 in a stock swap valued at $1.2 billion.

Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 3/8 to 54 1/2, said Monday is will buy MetroSplash, owner of Matchmaker.com, a personal classifieds site for about $44 million in cash.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), down 4 7/16 to 120 7/8, announced Monday the introduction of Corporate Yahoo!, and a host of partners who will provide technology for the customized enterprise portal. One of the partners, Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT), sank 22 11/16 to 117 11/16 on news that Yahoo is phasing out its search services in its other areas.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) recovered 1/16 to 33 15/16 from Friday's slide. America Online (NYSE: AOL) lost 1/2 to 53.

Scient Corp. (Nasdaq: SCNT) tumbled 6 1/16 to 41 Monday after Banc of America downgraded the stock on concern some of its troubled 'dot-com' clients may not be able to pay up.

Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW), up 2 3/16 to 36 9/16, the world's largest electronic components distributor, said its second-quarter sales would reach a record $3 billion and its earnings would exceed its first-quarter profit by 25 percent, topping Wall Street's current expectations by a wide margin.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 2 3/16 to 136 9/16. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 1 5/16 to 79 5/8.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained 5/8 to 63 1/4, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) was up 4 1/8 to 90 11/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 3 5/8 to 83 1/8.