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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs rise despite bond woes

Techs were fending off the negative pull of rocketing bond yields at midday Tuesday, as optimism over Microsoft's upcoming report, and other quarterly results kept them above water. The Nasdaq rose 24.86 to 4,089.13, and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 100.83 to 11,622.15.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index leapt 12 to 550.29.

The highest bond yields in two-and-half years were bringing the Dow down, but earnings and the Wintel engine managed to keep techs headed north.

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped 2 11/16 to 114 15/16 ahead of its earnings report to be released after market close. The other half of the Wintel team, Intel Corp (Nasdaq: INTC), rose 1 15/16 to 104 3/8.

Be Inc. (Nasdaq: BEOS) lost 1 3/4 to 17 5/8 after it said it will offer the newest version of its operating system for free later this quarter.

E-Tek Dynamics Inc. (Nasdaq: ETEK) shot up 33 percent Friday after rival JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) said it plans to buy the company in an all-stock deal worth roughly $15 billion, or $211.40 a share, a 56 percent premium on its Friday closing price.

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) lost 14 1/4 to 215 3/4 after it said it will acquire privately held Network24 Communications in a stock swap valued at about $200 million.

Unisys' fourth quarter looks like a repeat performance of its third quarter as sales came in almost flat. This time, however, the outlook is a bit better. Shares lost 1 3/4 to 29.

Kulicke & Soffa rose 2 13/16 to 54 3/4 after it handily beat Wall Street estimates with first quarter earnings of 52 cents a share. Entrust Technologies (Nasdaq: ENTU), down 3 7/8 to 59 and Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT), up 2 3/8 to 70 3/4, also reported.

VocalTec Communications (Nasdaq: VOCL) jumped 2 9/16 to 26 3/8 after it said it will restructure its operations and management to focus on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry.

PSINet Inc. (Nasdaq: PSIX) rose 7 57/64 to 93 after it said it would split its stock 2-for-1. PSINet has already preannounced strong sales.

Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE: CY) slid 1 13/16 to 35 1/4 despite a confirmation that it will deliver a fourth quarter upside surprise. Cypress forecasted earnings of 31 cents to 32 cents a share before charges.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 5/8 to 63 5/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) shed 8 17/32 to 344 15/32, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) lost 1 1/4 to 62.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 1 to 43, Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) shed 9/16 to 29 15/16 and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) lost 1 3/16 to 118 7/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) rose 1 13/16 to 109 3/8 and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) lost 1 9/16 to 51 13/16.