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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Be, BMC Software, eBay and IBM

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded: Be Inc, BMC Software, eBay and IBM.

  • Be (Nasdaq: BEOS)

    The company founded 10 years ago by former Apple Computer (Nasdaq:AAPL) executive Jean-Louis Gassee, may get some attention as it unveils at the Demo2000 conference a new operating system called BeIA. The OS, formerly code-named Stinger, is targeted at the nascent but hot market for Internet appliances -- a market where the 'WinTel' alliance in personal computers of Microsoft software and Intel chips is not expected to dominate.

  • BMC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BMCS)

    The software developer figures to see heavy action Monday on rumors that it was in takeover talks with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).

    Company officials, naturally, dodged the subject.

    "It is the company's policy to never comment on rumors," BMC spokesman Dan D'Armond told Reuters.

    Implied volatility for the February 40s stood at about 87 percent for calls and 83 percent for puts late in the session.

    "It's (implied volatility) higher by about 10 percent," said a market maker at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He also noted that options volume also had picked up substantially on Friday.

    BMC shares closed up 3 1/8 to 42 5/16 Friday.

  • eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY)

    The online auction site may slip Monday on word that the Justice Department was looking into some of its actions to block rival auction sites from accessing its content.

    The probe concerns eBay's dealings with AuctionWatch.com and BiddersEdge.com, two sites that do not themselves host auctions but enable visitors to search multiple auction sites simultaneously.

    While the services have been welcomed by some smaller auction sites eager to raise their visibility, eBay contends they are effectively stealing its content, by making it available to people who never go to the eBay site.

    eBay has already filed a lawsuit against Burlington, Mass.-based BiddersEdge, while its battle with AuctionWatch has been fought mainly on the technological front. Late last year, it erected a kind of fire wall blocking AuctionWatch from accessing its content. AuctionWatch, based in San Bruno, Calif., has since found a different way into the site.

    eBay shares closed up 3 1/16 to 168 1/16.

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

    Along with the BMC rumors, IBM said it will show designs of computer chips that they say will be the world's fastest.

    IBM researchers will announce at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference that they have developed a new family of high-speed computer circuits that run at speeds of 3.3 to 4.5 gigahertz, up to five times faster than today's fastest Pentium III chips.

    The new design employs conventional silicon transistors, but uses only half the power of a standard high-performance chip.

    ``Not only are we in the gigahertz era of microprocessors, but we see our way clear to three to four gigahertz in the future,'' said Randall Isaac, vice president of systems, technology and science at IBM Research.

    Reuters contributed to this report.>