Techs took the Nasdaq to a new high at midday Wednesday, as the index rose above the 4,700 level for the first time. The Nasdaq gained 62.94 to 4,759.63, and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 24.51 to 10,103.80.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 9 to 637.66.
The day's economic news had a negligible effect on the market. The National Association of Purchasing Management index rose to 56.9 from 56.3 in January. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged. Spending on new construction also increased more than analysts had forecasts - it was up 2.7 percent in January.
IPOs were gearing up to take advantage of the upswing; Onvia.com (Nasdaq: ONVI), an e-marketplace for small businesses formerly known as MegaDepot.com, has had some legal troubles, but is expected to do well in its IPO.
MatrixOne (Nasdaq: MONE), a provider of Internet business collaboration software, priced 5 million shares at $25 each.
Investors can't buy the initial public offering of Palm Inc. yet, but they sure are buying 3Com (Naasdaq: COMS), up 7 1/4 to 105 1/4.
Galileo Technology (Nasdaq: GALT) tumbled 30 percent, or 5 3/4 to 13 7/16 Wednesday after it warned first quarter revenue and profits would be below analyst expectations.
Lucent Technologies ran up 15 percent , or 8 5/8 to 68 1/8 after it announced plans to form a new company in the hot area of enterprise networking. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) was up 1 5/16 to 133 1/2.
Rumors of a deal between Baby Bells SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), up 3 7/8 to 41 5/8 and BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), up 1 9/16 to 42 1/8 were driving shares. The two companies are in talks to merge their U.S. cellular-phone businesses to create a nearly national wireless provider, the Wall Street Journal reported.
DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) fell 8 1/2 to 80 5/16 after reports that AltaVista and Kozmo.com may distance themselves from the Internet advertising network, partly out of concerns about its privacy issues.
Online brokers also caught fire; Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTR) was up 2 13/16 to 21 1/2, E*trade (Nasdaq: EGRP) was up 2 5/16 to 26 15/16, and DLJ Direct (Nasdaq: DIR) gained 2 3/16 to 13 1/8.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) rose 3 3/16 to 92 9/16. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 2 5/8 to 115 5/8.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 2 5/8 to 66 1/4, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 7/16 to 160 1/8, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) fell 1 13/16 to 57 1/8.
EBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), which announced it would team up with Wells Fargo on a new payment system, gained 7 5/8 to 151.