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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs confident on CPI report

    A benign CPI report gave techs confidence at midday Tuesday, as they awaited the Fed's decision on interest rates. The Nasdaq rose 109.17 to 3,716.82 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 144.61 to 10,952.39.

    The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 16 to 490.19.

    Wall Street analysts and market experts were upbeat after the U.S. Labor Department reported its consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged overall. Though the Federal Reserve is expected to announce a half-point hike to interest rates at about 2 PM EST, the economic news suggests inflation is being reigned in.

    Downtrodden stocks were rebounding Tuesday. Inprise (Nasdaq: INPR) and Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) said their merger is off. Shares of Corel surged 1/2 to 5 29/32, and Inprise rose 9/32 to 6 1/8 on the news.

    Neoforma.com (Nasdaq: NEOF), up 21/32 to 9 13/16 announced Monday it may terminate its merger with Eclipsys (Nasdaq: ECLP), down 3/16 to 13 1/16 and HEALTHvision.

    Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of Newbridge Networks (NYSE: NN), up 15/16 to 42 3/8 shareholders voted in favor of the network equipment developer's acquisition by Alcatel (NYSE: ALA), up 7/8 to 52 11/16.

    Another merger was also in the works; Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT), up 3 7/16 to 51 15/16 agreed Tuesday to buy Network TeleSystems, a provider of broadband client services software, for about $19.4 million.

    Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal also had an affect on stocks after announcing he recently invested $1 billion in 15 U.S. companies, including: Amazon.com Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN), up 7/16 to 56 1/2; eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), up 7 3/16 to 134 11/16, Internet Capital Group Inc (Nasdaq: ICGE), up 4 13/16 to 34 15/16; Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN), up 4 5/16 to 54 3/4; InfoSpace Inc (Nasdaq:INSP), up 3 1/2 to 61 1/2 and Doubleclick Inc (Nasdaq: DCLK), up 3 3/4 to 58 1/2. He also bought large stakes in WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), up 5/8 tp 42 1/16 and AT&T (NYSE: T), up 1/4 to 38 15/16. He already has a large investment in AOL (NYSE: AOL), down 3/16 to 58 1/4.

    Other Internet companies on the rise Tuesday included Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS), which shot up another 14 1/8 to 75 3/4, or 23 percent, though confirmation of a deal with Terra (Nasdaq: TRRA), down 1/2 to 56 3/8, had yet to be announced. Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) was up 6 11/16 to 136 11/16.

    Vignette (Nasdaq: VIGN), up 3 3/16 to 49 3/16, said sales are expected to increase nearly threefold to $265 million in calendar 2000 from $89.2 million last year.

    Among other techs, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 7/8 to 70 1/4, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) fell 11/16 to 49 7/8, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 1/2 to 60 1/2 and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 2 7/8 to 121.


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