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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs shrug off inflation fears, charge ahead

Fading fears of an interest rate hike bolstered techs' optimism at midday Thursday as earnings and stock splits pushed the Nasdaq higher. The Nasdaq rose 24.03 to 3,052.54 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 62.39 to 10,671.45.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index leapt 6 to 371.36.

On the economic front, jobless claims showed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 288,000 for the week ended Oct. 30, slightly above expectations. (Nasdaq: TIXX) received 8 percent of its revenue from the Internet in the second quarter, but that didn't stop the company from tapping into a little .com euphoria. The company's IPO had yet to take off. Pac-West Telecomm Inc. (Nasdaq: PACW) blasted up 7 to 17, or 70 percent in its debut.

Radware ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) tumbled 26 percent Thursday after reporting third quarter loss on target with First Call's expected loss of a penny a share. Shares were down 20 1/4 to 59 3/4.

Value America, Inc. (Nasdaq: VUSA) said Thursday its net loss for the third quarter was 71 cents a share, sneaking by First Call's expected loss of 73 cents a share on rocketing revenue. Shares were down 5/8 to 13 1/4. and Inc. (Nasdaq: XMCM), down 3/8 to 63 5/8, said they had reached agreements worth $75 million with HealthGate Data Corp. to make it the main provider of health content on's Health Channel.

Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN), up 11 3/4 to 184 3/4, announced a two-for-one split as it continues to see blue sky following a strong third quarter.

K-Tel (Nasdaq: KTEL) continued its post-earnings euphoria, up 2 11/16 to 11 1/8, or 31 percent, after reporting net income of 30 cents a share, reversing losses of 37 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Ditech Communications (Nasdaq: DITC) soared 38 to 128 1/2, or 40 percent after it said it expects to double Wall Street forecasts of its second-quarter earnings. Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 7/16 to 65 3/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) jumped 3 7/8 to 184 1/2 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 4 5/8 to 143 5/8. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) lost 1 3/8 to 90 5/8 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) lost 1 7/8 to 92 1/2.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) jumped 1/4 to 42 1/4, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) added 1/16 to 18 13/16. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) jumped 1/4 to 71 3/4 and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) hopped 1 to 66 9/16. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) added 9/16 to 80 5/16.