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MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs surge on China pact

Techs were taking off at midday Thursday on news that the U.S. had voted to normalize trade with China. The Nasdaq rose 61.02 to 3,331.63 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 45.92 to 10,489.43.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 11 to 467.77.

Technology issues, led by telecommunications plays, continued Wednesday's late-day rally Thursday, getting some leverage from the announcement that heralded booming business with China.

In economic news, a revised figure for the gross domestic product showed it advanced at a 5.4 percent pace in the first quarter, identical with the original number. Existing homes, another economic indicator, fell 6.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.88 million last month. The news had little effect on the market, and investors were still awaiting news from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is scheduled to address a banking group in his first speaking engagement since the central bank raised interest rates.

China-related technology issues moved higher Thursday after the U.S. House of Representatives' voted to normalize trade relations with China. Big winners could include telecommunications companies such as: Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) up 5/8 to 19 1/16; Nokia (NYSE: Nokia), up 1 7/16 to 49 7/16; Alcatel (NYSE: ALA), up 1 9/16 to 45 15/16; Lucent (NYSE: LU), down 1 3/16 to 52 9/16; Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), up 2 3/8 to 57 1/2; Nortel (NYSE: NT), up 2 7/8 to 54 3/8 and Motorola (NYSE: MOT), down 1 11/16 to 95 5/16.

For companies established in China, such as UTStarcom (Nasdaq: UTSI), up 3 to 39 and AsiaInfo (Nasdaq: ASIA), up 9/16 to 35 11/16, the deal could be a double-edged sword.

Asian Internet firm Chinadotcom Corp. (Nasdaq: CHINA) , up 1 to 28; Sina.com (Nasdaq: SINA), down 1 1/2 to 44 1/16; Asiacontent.com (Nasdaq: IASIA), down 5/16 to 7 3/16 and Adatom.com (Nasdaq: ADTM), up 3/32 to 2 1/16, were seeing mixed results from the agreement.

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN), rose 4 3/8 to 40 7/8, or 12 percent after the company announced a deal with American Express (NYSE: AXP) and a new long distance service involving Net2Phone (Nasdaq: NTOP), up 3 1/2 to 28, deltathree.com (Nasdaq: DDDC), up 9/16 to 6 15/16, and ZeroPlus.com (Nasdaq: ZPLS), up 1/4 to 4 5/8.

Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW), up 7/8 to 47 13/16, will invest $150 million in with Consumer Financial Network, a division of iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq: IIXL), up 1 11/16 to 15 5/8, a company that develops employee benefit solutions, in the hopes of selling more computers through the corporate market.

One of the week's most promising IPOs, Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS), was up 12 1/4 to 35 1/4 after it priced well above range. Stanford Microdevices (Nasdaq: SMDI) also priced for debut.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 5/16 to 67 3/8 after Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson lauded a third-party proposal to divide the company into three, and rejected the software maker's request for months of more hearings.

Among other leading tech issues: Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 1/16 to 45 3/16, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was up 3 7/16 to 120 13/16, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) rose 2 7/16 to 78 13/16 and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was up 5 1/8 to 69 3/8.

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) lost 3/16 to 48 3/8, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 4 1/8 to 118 5/8 and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) rose 3/8 to 51 3/8.