MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs rise above interest rate fears

3 min read

Techs were running in place at midday Friday as good earnings news was tempered by the continuing pull of Fed watchers anticipating another interest rate hike. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged ahead 1.98 to 2,686.42, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 32.93 to 10936.29.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index sunk 13.27 to 292.

The Nasdaq fared better than the Dow, with a modest tech rally outweighing the pull of fears interest rates will be raised again. Computer issues were a bright spot in the day, with Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) rocketing on upgrades following Thursday's earnings news, though Compaq Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) the other newsmaker of the day, slid after announcing it had appointed a new CEO.

The IPO of InsWeb (Proposed ticker: INSW), a Web site which allows users to comparison shop for insurance, priced its 5 million share offering at $17 in a deal that raised about $85 million had yet to debut.

Among earnings headlines, US West (NYSE: USW) was even at 57 9/16 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share, above First Call's prediction of 81 cents a share, and up 7 cents or 9.2 percent from last year's second quarter.

U.S. depositary receipts of LM Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) were up 3 3/16 to 30 13/16, after the company on Friday pledged to clean up its act by the end of 1999 and put a management shakeup and a drop in first-half profit firmly behind it.

Gateway 2000 Inc. (NYSE: GTW) rocketed up 8 7/8 to 71 3/4, on a flurry of upgrades, while Compaq (NYSE: CPQ), fell 7/16 to 24 9/16. Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose gained 2 19/32 to 69 25/32 after reporting better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earning. Sun executives also sounded more upbeat than they had previously been about the second half of this year.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 1/8 to 123 3/4, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 1 1/8 to 40 3/4 and Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) also moved up, 13/16 to 53 3/16.

Anadigics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANAD), was down 3 1/4 to 32 1/2 after it said second quarter earnings were $2 million, or 12 cents a share, beating First Call's estimate of 9 cents a share on record sales. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) was even at 91 1/16, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) grew 5/16 to 64 3/16, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) rose 1/8 to 16 7/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) tacked on 15/16 to 62 1/16, 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) dropped 15/16 to 25 3/16 and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) was down 5/16 to 67 15/16.

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) rose 1 15/16 to 147 1/16, while Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) sunk 9/16 to 106 5/8 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was down 2 3/16 to 108 5/16. Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) added 3 to 94 7/8, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK) slipped 13/16 to 40 1/16, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) fell 9/16 to 44 11/16, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) sunk 13/16 to 41 7/8.

CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) added 2 9/16 to 99 3/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 1/4 to 36. AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) fell 5/16 to 54 7/16,