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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs rise on earnings, CPI data

Earnings were the dominant force for techs at midday Thursday, as they will be in the weeks to come. The Nasdaq grew 10.22 to 2,828.25, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.99 to 11,161.09.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index rose 18 to 380.

Fed watchers can breath easy since the Labor Department reported U.S. consumers saw no inflation for the second straight month in June, indicating the Federal Reserve should hold interest rates steady. This is the first time the consumer price index was flat for two months in a row since the February-to-April period of 1986. The CPI was expected to have edged up 0.1 percent.

The Labor Department also reported jobless claims. They rose to 310,000 for the week ended July 10 from a 299,000 a week earlier, indicating almost 11,000 more Americans applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week than the week before.

Among stocks in the news today, the earnings parade marched ahead with Andrew Corp. (Nasdaq: ANDW), up 9/16 to 19 15/16, Cambridge Technology Partners Inc. (Nasdaq: CATP), up 2 11/16 to 19 1/2, and Net Perceptions Inc. (Nasdaq: NETP), down 1 to 20 1/2, reporting today.

Shareholders of Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), down 2 1/8 to 53 13/16, are going to get whiplash in "a daytrader's paradise" in the trading sessions between the company's third quarter results and next week's MacWorld expo in New York.

Among other PC-related issues: Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) lost 3/8 to 72 7/8, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 7/16 to 43 15/16 and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 3/8 to 27 5/8. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) fell 2 3/8 to 134 7/8.

Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS) fell 5/16 to 43 3/4. The information technology services firm handily beat Wall Street estimates with second quarter earnings of $119.7 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $1.89 billion. Unisys also said it was comfortable with earnings goals for the year.

CyberCash Inc.(CYCH) shares tanked 17 percent Thursday morning, falling 2 5/16 to 10 7/16 after it warned of second-quarter losses below expectation.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) shot up 4 7/16 to 139 7/16, while Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) rose 1 to 160 7/16. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) added 3/8 to 123 3/8, Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) grew 2 1/8 to 104 3/4, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK),sunk 3/16 to 44 9/16, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), fell 1 3/8 to 47 9/16, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG), fell 1 7/16 to 48 1/16.

CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) gained 3/16 to 112.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 5/16 to 94 5/8, and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) tacked on 3/16 to 68 3/16, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) lost 1/4 to 17 3/4.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) added 9/16 to 65 7/8. 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) fell 1/16 to 27 1/4, and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) added 1 3/16 to 76 3/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 1 5/16 to 25 1/8, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) dipped 15/16 to 58 7/16.