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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs rise despite jobs data

Techs shrugged off stronger-than expected jobs data at midday Friday, and a batch of IPOs were revving up on deck. The Nasdaq rose 54.94 to 4,265.92 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 16.14 to 11,029.58.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 2 to 581.86.

Despite government data showing very strong job growth last month, the markets were moving up at midday.

The January U.S. payroll report showed a 387,000 increase in non-farm payrolls against an expected rise of 255,000, according to a Reuters poll of economists. The unemployment rate for last month came in at 4.0 percent compared to a 4.0 percent prediction.

A host of IPOs were ready to soar on the upswing. Avanex (Nasdaq: AVNX), which makes processors for optical networks, is likely to be among the hottest initial public offerings of the day.

EMerge Interactive (Nasdaq: EMRG)priced its 8 million share offering at $15 a share.

FirePond (Nasdaq: FIRE) priced its initial public offering of 5 million shares at $22 each Friday, a full 83 percent higher than initial estimates.

eOn Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EONC) was set to offer 3 million shares at $12 each, the top of its $10 to $12 range.

Dobson Communications (Nasdaq: DCEL) had already opened, rising 2 1/2 to 24 1/2 after it priced its 25 million shares at $22, the top of its $20-22 range, for what is to be Friday's largest offering in terms of shares.

Radiant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: RADS) raced up 12 1/8 to 56 1/2, or 27 percent after analysts praised its fourth-quarter report.

Viant Corp. (Nasdaq: VIAN) blasted ahead 11 3/16 to 111 3/16 after it creamed estimates in its recent quarterly report.

Investors bit a chunk off Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) sending shares down 3 13/16 to 94 13/16 after it announced a secondary stock offering Friday.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 2 1/2 to 106 1/8. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 2 9/16 to 81 5/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 5 15/16 to 366 3/16 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1 3/8 to 58 1/2.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) rose 1/8 to 38 5/8, Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) shed 1/16 to 27 15/16 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) lost 1 1/8 to 116.