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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs rise in tepid market

Internet stocks bounded higher, though the overall markets were still hanging on Greenspan's words at midday Wednesday. The Nasdaq rose 15.70 to 2,695.03, while the Dow Jones industrial average inched up 6.96 to 10,986.00.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index rose 0.36 to 285.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan reiterated his hawkish comments on the central bank's need to act "promptly and forcefully" on interest rates if it sniffs out rising inflation. He may expand on his prepared statement later Wednesday in a question-and-answer session with senators.

In other economic news, orders for durable goods were reported by the Commerce Department, which said they rose only 0.3 percent in June to $196.95 billion. Economists surveyed by Reuters had anticipated an increase of 1 percent. The May figure was also revised downward to a 0.8 percent from the 1.2 percent gain originally reported.

Among stocks in the news today, Focal Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: FCOM), a competitive local exchange carrier, was up 4 7/16 to 17 7/16 after offering of 9,950,000 shares of common stock priced at $13 per share.

Quokka Sports (Nasdaq: QKKA), an interactive online sports network, was up only 1/8 to 12 1/8 after pricing 5.0 million shares for $12 ahead of this morning's initial public offering.

In earnings news, Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) was up 2 1/8 to 88 3/8, boosted by strong second quarter earnings posted after Tuesday's bell, and an upgrade from CIBC World Markets.

KLA-Tencor Corporation (Nasdaq: KLAC), up 11/16 to 66 5/16, posted fourth quarter earnings of $26 million, or 28 cents a share, beating expectations.

MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPG) flopped 3 7/16 to 36 13/16 after it topped analyst estimates in the second quarter, but said it doesn't expect much profit growth over the next few quarters. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) sprang 6 13/16 to 138 1/8, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) leapt 4 15/16 to 105 15/16, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) jumped 2 1/16 to 100 1/4. Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), up 15/16 to 45 5/16, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), up 1/4 to 41 7/8, and Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), up 5/16 to 51 1/4.

CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) bounded 5 7/16 to 95 11/16.

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) rose 1/8 to 25 1/2 ahead of earnings scheduled for after Wednesday's bell. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) rose 15/16 to 127 3/16. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) added on 1 1/8 to 76, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) rose 1/4 to 42 3/8, and Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) also skipped up, 1/2 to 54 3/16.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 5/16 to 89 1/8, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 2 21/32 to 70 7/32, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) grew 1/16 to 16 5/8.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) shed 7/16 to 62 1/2, 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) was even at 24 11/16, and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), was down 1 3/8 to 65 11/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 5/8 to 37 11/16, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) fell 3/16 to 54 13/16, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) dipped 1/2 to 71 1/16.