Nasdaq closes day up

Blue chips close lower, but tech stock gains manage to push Nasdaq into positive territory today.

The Dow headed South today after last week's strong market rally, but technology issues managed to lead the Nasdaq higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 77.50 or 0.86 percent to 8,897.96, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 4.48 or nearly a quarter percent to 1,861.04.

The Nasdaq's top movers helped turn the index higher despite the market downturn.

Strong gainers included Web portal Excite, which jumped 18.75 percent to 47.5 and was the third-most actively traded issue on the Nasdaq market with 15.4 million shares changing hands today.

Web portal and browser software maker Netscape Communications also soared higher, rising 14.78 percent to 29.13 after the company announced that it has embarked on a plan that it predicts will jumpstart online billing and payment.

Dell Computer pushed higher by 5.04 percent to 69 and was the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq with 31.6 million shares moved. On the New York Stock Exchange, Compaq Computer gained 1.17 percent to 32.38, with 12.5 million shares traded.

America Online jumped 3.21 percent to 144.5 after being reiterated as a "buy" by the investment banking firm of Gerard Klauer Mattison. AOL's 12-month target price was set at $175 per share.

Shares of Intel inched 0.59 percent higher to 96, while Cisco Systems dipped 0.65 percent to 67 despite being upgraded to "strong buy" from "buy" by SoundView Technology and having its 12-month price target set at $87 a share.