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Dow beats 10,000 at close

No waffling at the last moment: the Dow finally closes above the 10,000 mark in a record-setting run.

No waffling at the last moment: the Dow finally closed above the 10,000 mark in its record-setting run today.

The technology sector's headlong surge today helped send stocks soaring, giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average just the shot in the arm it needed to stay above the 10,000 mark. The blue chip soared 184.54 points or 1.88 percent higher to close at 10,006.78. After teasing investors three times earlier this month, the oldest financial index in the country stayed the course today.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index piled on 72.78 points or 3.01 percent to reach 2,491.95.

Analysts say the stage is set for stocks to move higher, provided the conflict in Kosovo does not escalate.

NATO air strikes were expected to continue into their sixth night in Yugoslavia. The White House said NATO had no intention of sending ground troops to Kosovo unless there is a political settlement.

Microsoft was the No. 2 mover on the Nasdaq market, fueled by prospects for a settlement in the antitrust suit against it by the Justice Department and 19 states. The issue jumped 3.72 percent with nearly 40 million shares changing hands today.

All ten top movers on the Nasdaq were technology issues and all surged higher.

"Techs have been the lead horse for eight years now," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Company. "Microsoft's stock split and the positive rumblings about its antitrust case, plus Amazon.com getting into the auction business helped, and they already have a captive audience."

Telecommunications firm Nextel turned around from a morning slide of 4.79 percent to gain one-third of a percent.

Dell Computer surged 4.13; Amazon.com roared 7.6 percent higher; Sun Microsystems jumped 6.87 percent; and Cisco Systems rose 4.58.

Platinum Technology, a services and technology company specializing in enterprise solutions, burst its seams after Computer Associates moved to acquire it for $3.5 billion. Platinum exploded 143.67 percent higher. The issue was the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq, with about 42 million shares trading hands.

On the New York Stock Exchange, America Online surged 4.72 percent, Lucent Technology rose 7.65 percent, and Compaq Computer edged 1.0 percent higher.

iVillage was up 32.65 percent after a positive article in Barron's.

Online email hosting firm Critical Path surged 174.48 percent on its first day of trading today.

Reuters contributed to this report.