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MIDDAY MARKETS: Three tech heavyweights suffer

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Microsoft, Yahoo and Motorola became the latest tech bellwethers to take a tumble at midday Thursday. The Nasdaq dropped 29.99 to 2,766.51 and the Dow Jones industrial average inched up 0.56 to 10,664.94.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 5 to 353.93.

Citing the "preponderance of evidence" of sluggish PC demand, Goldman Sachs . reduced its sales and earnings targets for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), while maintaining a rating of "market outperform" on the stock. Shares fell 3.63 to 53.06.

Shares of Web giant Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) dropped 2 to 35.5, or 5 percent after a Wall Street analyst downgraded the stock to "neutral," citing concerns about weakness in the online advertising market. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 0.62 to 23 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) lost 1.19 to 43.42.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), down 0.75 to 17.06, became the latest company to announce that it can't meet its already lowered guidance. The company said it won't meet sales and earnings targets for the fourth quarter or fiscal 2001.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) shed 1.13 to 50.31, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) gained 1 to 32.75 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 0.63 to 29.56..

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), down 1.25 to 50.13, said it will buy Ramp Networks (Nasdaq: RAMP), down 11.25 to 17.75, a provider of purpose built Internet security appliances specifically designed for small office applications.

Fiber optic gear maker Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN), up 0.72 to 96.09, topped earnings estimates in its fourth quarter with earnings of $41.3 million, or 14 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on sales of $287.6 million. The company also upped its targets for 2001.

Winstar Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: WCII), unchanged at 14.06, said Thursday that it has closed a series of previously announced funding deals, following on the heels of yesterday's $40 million pact with Lucent.

Intersil Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL) plunged11.25 to 17.75 following a warning that revenue would be flat for its fourth and first quarters.