Nasdaq starts quarter on weak note

Technology stocks start the new quarter on shaky ground after analysts hand out bleak forecasts for the PC sector.

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Technology stocks started the new quarter on shaky ground after analysts handed out bleak forecasts for the PC sector, but blue-chip stocks eked out some gains following positive economic news.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 11.82 points to 2,148.72, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 91.32 points to 10,593.72.

The day's economic news signaled that the manufacturing sector might be recovering from its slump. The National Association of Purchasing Management released a stronger-than-expected manufacturing report; its June index rose to 44.7, its highest reading this year. However, a reading under 50 indicates that manufacturing is contracting.

Investors also digested statistics from the first half of the year Monday. Leisure-related stocks, such as those for travel Web sites and game software makers, ranked as the best performing tech stocks in the first six months of this year. Technology-related mutual funds improved for the first time since the first quarter of 2000.

PC stocks suffered after analysts cut estimates for Gateway, down 50 cents to $15.95, and Compaq Computer, down 21 cents to $15.11, and made some bearish comments on the sector. CNET's PC Hardware index was up 0.71 percent. Dell, a bright spot, rose 72 cents to $26.87.

Art Technology Group, a maker of software for customer service applications and e-commerce, announced it will lay off 20 percent of its staff as part of a restructuring plan. Shares lost $1.00 to $4.80.

Metricom filed for bankruptcy protection, but the provider of wireless Internet services intends to keep its 41,000 subscribers online for the time being. Shares were off 9 cents to $1.82.

Among technology bellwethers, Microsoft fell $2.40 to $70.60, Oracle rose 58 cents to $19.58 and Intel jumped 81 cents to $30.06.

Amazon.com rose 38 cents to $14.53, AOL Time Warner added 6 cents to $53.06 and Yahoo climbed 5 cents to $20.04.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.