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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Microsoft drags techs into the red

Techs were red with a rash of profit-taking at midday Tuesday, as even earnings upsiders fell victim to investors itching to sell. The Nasdaq Composite Index sunk 86.06 to 2,744.23, or more than 3 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 92.77 to 11,094.91.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index sunk 10.43 to 302.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), dropping fast on heavy volumes, was the poison ivy behind the itch. The company's warning that Y2K pressures, computer bugs and piracy are challenges that could have a negative impact on the rest of the year took the glory out of its better-than-expected earnings reported late Monday.

In economic news, the nation's trade deficit grew to a record $21.3 billion in May, the U.S. government said Tuesday. The gap was far wider than the $19.2 billion economists expected. The deficit was also a rise from $18.6 billion in April, the Commerce Department said. A rise in imports from China and Mexico, and shrinking U.S. exports were cited as causes for the increase.

Among stocks in the news today, the IPOs were the only ones seeing green.

Gadzoox Networks (Nasdaq: ZOOX) took off, soaring 242 percent, up 50 3/4 to 71 3/4 in initial trading. Other IPOs today are Talk City Inc. (Nasdaq: TCTY), up 19 percent, or 2 1/4 to 14 1/4, Convergent Communications Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CONV) up 73 percent, or 11 to 26, and Engage Technologies (Nasdaq: ENGA) priced at $15, which will trade later today.

Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc (Nasdaq: DIMD) also grew over 10 percent, up 9/16 to 5 3/4 on news MTV Networks Online, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA), has signed a deal with it to deliver digital music over the Internet.

Look out below for ISS Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISSX), down 11 5/8 to 26 11/ after Goldman Sachs announced it was downgrading the stock from its recommended list to "market outperform."

DLJdirect (Nasdaq: DIR) , up 1/14 to 26 1/8, easily topped estimates with a second quarter profit of 5 cents a share. NetB@nk, (Nasdaq: NTBK), down 3 1/4 to 27 1/2, however, missed estimates with a profit of 3 cents a share.

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) fell 4 1/16 to 145 7/8, despite cruising past Wall Street's expectations Tuesday and an upbeat outlook on semiconductor sales in upcoming quarters.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 6 7/16 to 128 3/16 despite strong earnings. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) fell 1 3/16 to 68 13/16, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 1 7/16 to 41, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 1 1/16 to 25 7/16. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) also moved down, 1 1/16 to 53 3/8.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) sunk 4 5/8 to 93 3/4 following earnings which surprised estimates but warned of future slow-downs. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dropped 1 9/16 to 66 while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) sunk 5/16 to 17.

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), down 7/16 to 101 1/16 hurdled Wall Street estimates Tuesday with third quarter earnings of $829 million, or 26 cents a share. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) shed 2 5/8 to 62 5/16. 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) dropped 5/8 to 26 13/16.

Internet stocks were falling ahead of key quarterly results. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) fell 2 7/8 to 146 5/8 while Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) sunk 6 3/8 to 125 5/16. America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was down 3 1/16 to 115 15/16. Other Net notables included: Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), down 9/16 to 99 3/4, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK),down 11/16 to 40, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), down 2 1/4 to 44 1/2 and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) in the red 2 1/4 to 44 1/2.

CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) also shed 7/16 to 101 1/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 1 3/8 to 38 1/8, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) fell 13/16 to 55, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) dipped 3 37/64 to 70 15/64.