MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs revive on good earnings news

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A few upbeat earnings reports rallied techs at midday Thursday. The Nasdaq rose 194.53 to 3,366.09, while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 114.69 to 9,975.02.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 6 to 512.65.

Among heavyweight who reported earnings after Wednesday's bell, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell 0.56 to 19.56 and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 6.81 to 117.13 Thursday morning.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped 17 percent, or 8.71 to 60.47 in morning trading, as analysts began to sound cautious notes of optimism about the stock.

A strong third quarter earnings report from Nokia (NYSE: NOK) helped to lift the tech sector Thursday as wireless handset and chip makers surged. Shares of Nokia jumped 22 percent to 36.68. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) surged 9 percent to 22.68 and Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) tacked on nearly 10 percent to 14.68. Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) jumped 20 percent to 44.25, and RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD) rebounded a 12 percent to 16 after a pounding Wednesday.

Shares of Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT) endured a 25 percent swing after its earnings release Wednesday night. After falling to around 19 a share, the wireless components maker began to gain on positive news from Nokia and news of two potential IPOs in January. Shares were up 1.66 to 27.97.

RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK), up 2.13 to 17, gained back some of Wednesday's loss after announcing a deal with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to use its audio and video software in IBM's UNIX systems. IBM (NYSE: IBM) was down 0.63 to 94.81.

E*Trade Group Inc. (Nasdaq: EGRP), up 1.75 to 13.19, bested analysts' expectation, pulling in a profit of $7.2 million, or 2 cents per share, for ongoing operations. DLJdirect (NYSE: DIR), up 0.75 to 5.13, said Thursday that it would lose about $4 million, or 4 cents per share in the third quarter, a penny better than Wall Street expectations.

Multex.com (Nasdaq: MLTX), up 1.25 to 13.13, beat analysts' expectations and reported its first profitable quarter, sending shares up nearly 15 percent Thursday morning.

A pair of DSL equipment makers saw their stocks move sharply in morning trading, but in completely different directions. Aware Inc. (Nasdaq: AWRE) soared 10.88 to 31.25, after it topped analysts estimates for the third quarter. Meanwhile, DSL modem maker Westell Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: WSTL) shed 3.28 to 5.72, after it missed second quarter estimates and lowered its outlook.

BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), down 0.88 to 40.94, reported third quarter earnings of 55 cents a share Thursday, including a two-cent reduction related to its newly acquired wireless properties in Colombia. Broadwing (NYSE: BRW), up 2.44 to 25.38 and Sportsline (Nasdaq: SPLN), down 0.5 to 8.5, also reported results.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 0.13 to 25.25, AOL (NYSE: AOL) lost 2.4 to 44.51 and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 1.94 to 54.69.

Among other leading tech issues: Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 5.69 to 57.94, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 4 to 42.19, and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up 2.5 to 36.06.