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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Dark day on Wall Street

    Technology stocks gave back most of the gains they'd made this week Friday as interest-rate concerns and the volatility of a "double-witching" day trimmed the Nasdaq composite and the Dow by 137 points and 295 points, respectively.

    The Dow Jones industrial averaged closed at 10,219.52, off more than 200 points for the week. The Nasdaq managed to pick up 17 points for the week to close at 4,412.01.

    Investors weren't pleased by the latest inflation data from a Consumer Price Index report that suggested inflation remains in check. The CPI rose 0.2 percent in January, in line with expectations. The trade deficit dropped to $25.5 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported.

    The number was below analyst expectations of a $26.4 billion gap. But the markets were stuck on what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested in his Humphrey-Hawkins testimony Thursday: interest rate hikes lie ahead.

    "It looks ugly," said Phil Orlando, chief investment officer at Value Line's Asset Management division. "Everyone is still focusing on their hangover from Greenspan's testimony. The economic news was fabulous and you would have thought you would have a rally -- if stocks had focused on the economy and the bond market."

    Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) shares closed off 4 9/16 to 95 1/16. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) shed 2 5/8 to 59 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) lost 3 5/16 to 92 13/16.

    Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) dropped 9 1/16 to 37 7/16 after analysts hit it with a slew of downgrades after the company announced the resignation of its chief financial officer.

    Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq; GBLX) fell 8 11/16 to 52 3/8 after it said it lost 20 cents a share in its fourth quarter, reversing last year's profit, but topping First Call's expected loss of 22 cents a share.

    Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) fell 5/8 to 40 1/16; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) closed off 1 and change to 25 3/16; Gateway Inc. (GTW) inched up 3/16 to 56 1/2 and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed off 3 5/8 to 111 1/4.

    CNet Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET) closed up 4 1/8 to 66 15/16 after it received a couple of upgrades. CS First Boston is bullish on CNet Data Services.

    Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) tumbled 7 1/16 to 156 1/8 while America Online Inc. (AOL) and Inc. (AMZN) shed 2 1/8 and 4 a share, respectively.

    Inforte (Nasdaq: INFT)shot up 40 15/16 to 72 15/16 in its initial public offering.

    GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM), a provider of high-speed broadband Internet access over cable TV lines in Taiwan, closed up 61 to 88 in its debut.