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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs await big earnings

Profit taking slowed down techs at midday Monday, as even better-than-expected quarterly results weren't enough to stir stocks up. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 28.24 to 2,836.24, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk 28.49 to 11,181.35.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index sunk 6.34 to 314.75

All eyes were focused on earnings, as investors held out for IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to report earnings later Monday.

Among stocks in the news today, Qwest Communications (Nasdaq: QWST) fell 1 5/16 to 33 11/16 after it agreed to drop its pursuit of Frontier Corp. (Nasdaq: FRO), down 1 11/16 to 57 7/16 in exchange for the right to acquire U S West Inc.(Nasdaq:USW), down 9/16 to 59 11/16. Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX) gained 1 3/16 to 47 5/16.

Microsoft, which reports after the bell, is selling its city guide business to Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. in a deal worth around $240 million. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) tacked on 3/16 to 67 5/16, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD)fell 1/16 to 17 1/2.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), up 2 1/2 to 116 1/2 on Monday tapped Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) executive Carleton S. Fiorina as H-P's next president and CEO. Lucent was down 1 5/8 to 76 13/16. Among other PC-related issues, Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) surged 4 to 64 1/16, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) added 1/2 to 71 and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 3/8 to 26 15/16. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) moved down 7/16 to 52 5/8, and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 1/8 to 136 1/8.

AdForce, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADFC) gained 4 9/16 to 33 9/16 after it beat earnings expectations Monday as losses narrowed to 40 cents a share, 18 cents less than First Call's expected loss.

E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP) sunk 2 3/8 to 35 1/8 after it reported earnings of loss of 10 cents a share, which beat the loss of 12 cents a share predicted by First Call.

Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) up 2 13/32 to 99 13/16, reported a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss Monday as the company continued its rapid sales growth.

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) fell 1 1/2 to 148 3/4, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dropped 4 3/4 to 32 7/8, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) added 7/64 to 120. Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) fell 1 3/8 to 103 3/8, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK) sunk 1 1/4 40 13/16 and Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) gained 1 7/8 to 47 1/2 and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) fell 2 1/4 to 46 1/2.

CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) gained 1 9/16 to 77.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 1 1/16 to 64 15/16. 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) went down 1/4 to 27 7/16.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 9/16 to 39 3/16, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) was steady at 55 1/2, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) shed 1 3/4 to 74 3/8.

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