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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Microsoft leads rally

    Microsoft and its competitors led a tech rally at midday Monday, as investors were relieved by the government's antitrust announcement Friday. The Nasdaq composite Index rose 116.87 to 3,977.53, and the Dow Jones industrial Average climbed 93.38 to 10,827.29.

    The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 15 to 527.46.

    Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 3 9/16 to 73 5/16 as news of the government's proposal to split the company sunk in Monday. Competitors on the Linux platform, RedHat (Nasdaq: RHAT), up 3 7/8 to 28 15/16 and Corel (Nasdaq: CORL), up 1 1/8 to 7 3/4, were also celebrating the news.

    In economic news, the National Association of Purchasing Management said its index of manufacturing activity slipped to 54.9 percent in April, weaker than the 55.5 percent expected by analysts surveyed by Briefing.com. The government also said construction spending surged in 1.4 percent in March.

    MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP)was up 1 1/4 to 8 1/4 after falling almost 40 percent Friday when a judge ruled the company had infringed on copyright.

    Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) rose 6 1/2 to 48 5/8 after it announced it had raised $50 million each from Compaq (NYSE: CPQ), down 9/16 to 28 15/16, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) up 1 3/16 to 112 11/16, and formed strategic relationships with both companies.

    Shared Medical Systems (NYSE: SMS) was up 29 3/8 to 70 13/16 after German industrial and technology group Siemens AG said it will buy the company in a deal valued at about $2.1 billion.

    Homestore.com (Nasdaq: HOMS), up 5 1/8 to 23 3/8, inked a five-year deal valued at more than $200 million to become AOL's leading provider of real estate listings.

    Excalibur Technologies (Nasdaq: EXCA), up 2 1/2 to 38, will form a new interactive media services company with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), up 3 7/8 to 130 11/16, which is investing $150 million for a 60 percent stake in the venture.

    Metalink Ltd (Nasdaq: MTLK) jumped 27 percent, or 7 13/16 to 36 3/8 Monday on news Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), up 1 3/4 to 63 15/16, is in initial talks to acquire it.

    Most other leading technology issues were also gaining ground; Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 2 25/64 to 71, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up 1 7/16 to 81 3/8, while Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 1/8 to 50.

    Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 4 1/4 to 59 7/16, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 4 ? to 134 1/2 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1/8 to 59 7/8.