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MIDDAY MARKETS: Microsoft and Intel lead tech rally

Microsoft and Intel's acceptance into the Dow Jones industrial average heralded a positive day for techs. Earnings also helped push techs ahead at midday Tuesday, as they shrugged off news of slouching consumer confidence. The Nasdaq rose 37.01 to 2,852.96, and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 37.05 to 10,386.98.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 3 to 340.36.

Consumer confidence slumped to 130.1 in October, its fourth straight month of decline, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The tumble signals concern over turbulent markets and the threat of rising interest rates. Confidence isn't about to get any better with the threat of further rate hikes ahead from the Federal Reserve

Dow Jones & Co. Inc. surprised Wall Street Tuesday with major changes to the 30 companies comprising the Dow industrials, including the addition of Nasdaq heavyweights Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), up 2 3/4 to 94 5/8, and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), up 2 1/2 to 73 3/4.

A deal with Microsoft did for NetBank what earnings and upgrades couldn't; NetBank (Nasdaq: NTBK)'s shares got a boost, rising to 23 1/2 as the company announced it has signed its first major portal agreement with MSN MoneyCentral.

AppNet, Inc. (Nasdaq: APNT) tumbled 12 percent Tuesday, down 6 7/16 to 49 9/16 after it reported a third quarter operating profit of 5 cents a share, two pennies above First Call's prediction of 3 cents a share. The company also announced a secondary offering of 4 million shares. PSINet Inc. (Nasdaq: PSIX), up 7/16 to 35 7/16, ZipLink, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIPL), up 3/4 to 12 3/8, Andrew Corp. (Nasdaq: ANDW), down 7/16 to 12 15/16, and Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SVGI), up 7/8 to 12 1/2, also reported earnings.

Bamboo.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BAMB), up 1 7/16 to 17 11/16, and Interactive Pictures (Nasdaq: IPIX), up 1 7/16 to 22 13/16, said Tuesday they will merge in a stock swap. Both companies also reported quarterly losses.

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) cruised past Wall Street estimates, and rose 3 1/2 to 63 3/8. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) climbed 1 3/4 to 68 1/4.

Acxiom Corporation (Nasdaq: ACXM), tumbled 26 percent, or 2 5/8 to 16 15/16, after the computer services company reported earnings for the second quarter.

Internet communications technology company Digital Island (Nasdaq: ISLD) continued to rock the charts following news it will acquire Sandpiper Networks Inc. Shares were up 11 1/16 to 49 3/4.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 3/8 to 83 1/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) slipped 7/16 to 178 5/16, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) fell 2 11/16 to 118 9/16.

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 1/8 to 18 13/16 ahead of its earnings, expected after the bell, and Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) gained 11/16 to 39 7/8.

The day's IPOs weren't doing anything exceptional -- Viador (Nasdaq: VIAD) was up 43/64 to 9 43/64, or 7 percent after pricing at $9, and Ectel (Nasdaq: ECTX), priced at $12, had yet to debut.