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MARKET CLOSE: Intel ignites late tech rally

Technology investors finally caught a break Wednesday after Intel said it was ramping up production of its microprocessors to meet surging demand. The Nasdaq composite shook off an early triple-digit deficit to close up 106 points to 3,270.59.

The Dow Jones industrial average tagged along, gaining 113 points to 10,535.35.

After weeks of mounting losses, analysts said Wednesday's about-face could mean the market's finally hit a bottom.

"Volume's better and it feels that way," said Adam Weisman, managing director at Wit SoundView. "That's good because people are obviously not wanting to be outside. People really want to get in again. The sellers are getting done what we want them to get done, but that's creating a lot of values."

Intel (INTC) shares closed up 7 7/16 to 117 5/16 after announcing it will spend $2 billion over the next three years to boost the number of chips it can make at its New Mexico plant, reflecting continued growth in the industry.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) shares fell 4 1/4 to 71 1/14 and IBM Corp. (IBM) closed up 2 1/4 to 109 5/8.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) rose 1 5/16 to 45 1/4; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) nudged up 3/8 to 27 1/4; Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) gained 1 7/8 to 87 11/16 and Gateway Inc. (GTW) closed off 1/2 to 46 7/8.

Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) stormed up 8, or 30 percent, to 35 1/16 after it topped estimates in its third quarter report.

VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX), which also beat estimates in its latest quarter, rose 3 to 41 1/2. RedHat (Nasdaq: RHAT) lost 1 to 15 3/4 and Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) inched up 1/16 to 3 3/4.

Centillium Communications (Nasdaq: CTLM) gained 3 7/8 to 22 7/8 in its initial public offering.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) finally showed signs of life, picking up 2 3/8 to 65 9/16. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) moved up 1 5/8 to 64 1/4 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) jumped 4 1/2 to 76 3/8.

ATI Technologies (Nasdaq: ATYT) plunged 6 3/4, or 40 percent, to 10 after it warned of a third quarter loss of 6 to 7 cents a share amid sluggish sales.

Among leading Internet issues, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) picked up 4 7/16 to 122 3/4; Lycos Inc. (LCOS) tacked on 3 15/16 to 56; America Online Inc. (AOL) rose 12 to 51 1/2; Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) added 1 7/8 to 87 11/16 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) charged up 13 15/16 to end at 129 15/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) snapped out of its recent malaise, gaining 4 19/32 to 55 1/8.>