MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs slide on earnings anxiety

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Earnings worries helped rattle technology stocks on Thursday.

Shortly after noon, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down 70.16 to 3,870.18. The S&P 500 had fallen 13.90 to 1,440.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 117.03 to 10,410.76. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index slid 68.62 to 4,902.53.

Unisys (NYSE: UIS) gave up 7 11/16 to 15 7/16 after warning of disappointing earnings.

Shares of mobile phone maker Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) retreated 1 1/8 to 18 15/16. The company warned that expenses related to implementing next-generation technology could hurt revenue. Shares of rival Nokia (NYSE: NOK) fell 2 3/4 to 47 5/8.

ION Networks (Nasdaq: IONN) slid 1 21/32 to 2 17/32. The maker of Internet security software and hardware on Wednesday told Wall Street to lower its first quarter expectations.

SCM Microsystems (Nasdaq: SCMM) tumbled 33 1/4 to 56 1/16 after the company warned of second quarter earnings weakness.

Uncertainty continued to surround the stock of WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), which slid 1 1/16 to 43 1/2 as the most active issue on U.S. markets. Not only is the U.S. Department of Justice opposing the proposed merger with Sprint (NYSE: FON), but Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT) reportedly plans to make a rival bid. Shares of Sprint rose 1 197/256 to 54 9/16. DT dropped 4 15/16 to 55.

Newly public Genuity (Nasdaq: GENU) continued to fall. The Internet infrastructure services provider, which went public Wednesday, dropped another 31/32 to 8 7/16 in the first half of Thursday's action.

Among Thursday's IPOs, video distribution software maker Virage (Nasdaq: VRGE) gained 7 1/4 to 18 1/4 and healthcare business software vendor CareScience (Nasdaq: CARE) slid 2 to 10.

Interface Systems (Nasdaq: INTF) rose 2 13/16 to 12 5/16. The maker of software and services that move data to the Internet from older systems agreed to be bought by Tumbleweed Communications (Nasdaq: TMWD), whose shares fell 7/16 to 50 1/16.>