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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs wait for Fed news

Techs were loitering in the red at midday Tuesday, waiting for the Fed to confirm the quarter-point hike the market has been anticipating. The Nasdaq slid 18.29 to 4,591.71, and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 146.74 to 10,826.98.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 4 to 623.55.

A number of deals distracted techs from their Fed watch at midday.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 2 to 137 , trading the most shares on the Nasdaq, after it said it will buy Basis Communications for about $450 million. Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS), which owned a stake in the company, will pocket about $80 million from the deal. Cirrus lost 1/2 to 18.

Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) was off 7 to 128 5/8 ahead of its earnings report.

In another optical networking purchase, Nortel Networks (Nasdaq: NT), up 1 5/8 to 127 13/16, said Tuesday it plans to buy CoreTek for up to $1.43 billion. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 2 11/16 to 136 13/16. JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) was the second most-active gainer, up 4 1/16 to 125 7/16.

Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) skidded 2 9/16 to 10 13/16 after posting a wider-than-expected loss in its first quarter. Proposed merger partner Inprise (Nasdaq: INPR) also fell 1 3/4 to 6 31/32.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 1 3/4 to 99 1/8.

On the IPO front, Caldera Systems (Nasdaq: CALD)priced shares of its IPO at $14 a share for trading Tuesday. The raised range was $10 to $12 a share.

Snowball.com (Nasdaq: SNOW) priced shares at $11 each for trading Tuesday. The "generation i" Internet company operates a network of web sites aimed at teenagers.

Teligent (Nasdaq: TGNT) fell 1 3/8 to 85 1/2 after the provider of voice and data communications services using fixed-wireless technology, plans a stock split and stock offerings.

Users of Palm Inc.'s (Nasdaq: PALM) handheld devices will be able to access mail and send and receive instant messages from Yahoo! Inc., under a deal announced today by the two companies. Palm was down 4 3/8 to 50 7/8, while Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained 6 7/64 to 178 1/8. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 1 5/16 to 65 1/2 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 7/16 to 66 7/16.