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Tech stocks seesaw to slight drop

After fluctuating between positive and negative territory all day, the Nasdaq closes with losses.

Tech stocks endured an up-and-down Friday before the Nasdaq settled a tad lower than the day before.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at 1,768.96, down 6.51 for the session, after vacillating between gains and losses throughout the day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 82.27 to 9,545.17.

CNET's technology indexes were mixed.

In the latest economic news, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 82.7 in October from 81.8 in the prior month. Rising confidence is a sign that consumer spending, which makes up about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, could begin to recover.

The day's other economic data showed that the rate of new home sales dropped in September to its lowest level since August 2000. According to a report from the Commerce Department, sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 864,000 units in September from the revised level of 876,000 in August.

On the technology front, JDS Uniphase on Thursday reported quarterly results and gave its outlook for the current quarter, which sent ripples of disappointment through the tech sector. The maker of optical components reported steep losses in its first quarter and said it expects sales to drop a further 10 to 15 percent in the second quarter as it finishes restructuring and as customers such as Nortel Networks and Cisco Systems continue to whittle down their inventory.

JDS shares fell $1.19 to 8.77. Nortel was up 26 cents to $6.25, and Cisco fell 45 cents to $17.29.

VeriSigncoo fell $10.52 to $42.82. The company, which provides Internet registration and security services, on Thursday said third-quarter operating results beat expectations, but some analysts expressed worries about slowing growth in VeriSign's core businesses. Investors also faced possible stock dilution; VeriSign filed to sell up to $750 million in stock.

Ericsson, maker of mobile phones, reported a larger-than-expected third-quarter pretax loss Thursday. The company also predicted a falling market for its key product, mobile networks, next year. Shares rose 13 cents to $4.48. Competitor Nokia was off 13 cents to $21.58.

Among other actively traded shares, Intel rose 24 cents to $25.86, Oracle slid 37 cents to $13.58, and Microsoft dropped 36 cents to $62.20.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.