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Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Techs take rare beating

Rotten economic news from Japan put a damper on trading Monday as the Nasdaq composite plunged 141 points to 4,907.48 while the Dow Jones industrial average managed to move up 18 points to end at 9,947.13.

News that the world's second largest economy had contracted at a 1.4 percent rate between October and December, officially making it in recession, pushed investors out of the red-hot technology sector.

"It's a knee-jerk reaction, the old theory of 'shoot now and ask questions later,' in response to the global markets," said Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at Kirlin Holdings. "But at the end of the day, not much has really changed. People are coming in to try and scoop up some of the deals that have been created."

Dell Computer Corp. (DEL) added 3 1/2 to 54 3/4 while Gateway Inc. (GTW) and Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) fell 3 and 4 7/16 a share, respectively. Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) closed off 1/8 to 28 7/16.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) trimmed 3 to 98. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) finished off 2 7/8 to 78 3/4 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) slid 3 5/16 to 90 7/8.

In the largest software deal ever, i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) said it would acquire Aspect Development (Nasdaq: ASDV) in a stock swap valued at $9.3 billion. i2 shares closed off 16 13/16 to 191 3/16 while Aspect gained 11 13/16 to 96 13/16.

StarMedia Networks (Nasdaq: STRM) tumbled 17 1/4 to 32 3/4 after the Internet portal for Spanish and Portuguese speakers got a couple of downgrades.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) slid 2 1/4 to 175 13/16. America Online Inc. (AOL) rose 2 9/16 to 61 3/16 while Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Lycos Inc. (LCOS) shed 1 9/16 and 1/8 a share, respectively.

Alloy Online Inc. (Nasdaq: ALOY), a U.S.-based direct marketer to youth, closed up 1 9/16 to 16 7/8 after it said Internet media firm Liberty Digital is buying a $54 million stake in it.

Business-to-business software developer Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) slumped 7 9/16 to 250 after it said it would split its stock 2-for-1.

Intel Corp. (INTC) hustled up 1 15/16 to 122 1/8 after Robertson Stephens analyst Dan Niles upgraded Intel to "strong buy" from a "buy" rating.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) closed off 11/16 to 51 5/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) ended up 2 7/16 to 107 11/16.