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Chip upgrades boost some techs

Goldman Sachs' upgrades to several chip stocks help lift the Nasdaq closer to the 2,000 mark.

Goldman Sachs raised several chip stocks to its recommended list Monday, helping lift the struggling Nasdaq out of the doldrums.

However, upgrades for Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom couldn't bring the Nasdaq composite index above the 2,000 mark, which it has closed below for three consecutive sessions. The Nasdaq gained 25.78 points to 1,982.25, and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.34 to 10,415.91.

Chip stocks made gains after a Goldman Sachs analyst said the beleaguered sector could finally be recovering. To his company's recommended list, analyst Terry Ragsdale added Intel, up 58 cents to $30.53, and Analog Devices, up $1.58 to $49.03. His fellow analyst Nathaniel Cohn added Broadcom, up $2.82 to $45.37, and Conexant Systems, up $2.83 to $66.60.

Wall Street wasn't unanimous in its praise. Lehman Brothers analyst Seth Dickson said in a research note Monday that the upbeat comments aren't anything new.

CNET's semiconductor index climbed about 1 percent.

In more downbeat news, Oracle's chief financial officer said Friday in an interview with the Bloomberg News service that sales in the first quarter are likely to drop, a change from earlier guidance that revenue would stay flat. Shares in the software giant gained 53 cents to $15.69.

AOL Time Warner fell $1.31 to $42.99 on reports it will announce a round of substantial layoffs at its online unit. The restructuring is expected to cut hundreds of jobs.

The biggest gainer on the Nasdaq was Cheap Tickets--up $4.48, or 38 percent, to $16.33--after Cendant said it would buy the discount air-ticket seller for $425 million in cash. Cendant gained 43 cents to $19.62.

Among other heavily traded techs, Microsoft rose 19 cents to $65.71, Cisco Systems slipped 12 cents to $18.21, and Sun Microsystems rose 15 cents to $16.37.

Amazon.com rose 17 cents to $10.12, and Yahoo rose 22 cents to $15.64.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.