Tech stocks pick up speed

Summary:The stock market appears to be getting over its Sun Microsystems hangover as the Dow and Nasdaq are ready to open higher.

Stocks picked up slightly Thursday, as investors tentatively got back into the market after a sluggish day Wednesday. Microsoft unveiled its latest business software, and the government issued the most current unemployment figures.

The Dow rose 15.20 to 10,887.80, and the Nasdaq gained 24.44 to 2,108.94.

At a press conference in New York, Microsoft unveiled Office XP, the first of three major products the software giant will release this year. Office XP is a set of applications aimed at the corporate market. Microsoft shares lost 32 cents to $68.87.

U.S. jobless claims rose for the third straight week, a sign of continued weakness in the labor markets. New claims rose to 419,000 for the week ended May 26, up from a revised 411,000 in the prior week. Economists had expected the figure to decrease.

The unemployment report for May will be released Friday. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to dip slightly.

Citrix Systems named Mark Templeton as CEO, a position he stepped down from almost a year ago. Analysts' reaction to the news was mixed, but investor opinion wasn't: The stock dropped $2.04 to $23.05.

Shares of teen retailer Alloy Online shot up $1.42 to $12.17 a day after the company topped estimates for its first quarter. Alloy executives on Wednesday told analysts and investors to expect 2001 revenue figures to be at the high end of the previously predicted $140 million to $145 million range.

StarMedia Network rose 89 cents to $2.90 on news that BellSouth is investing in the online media company. BellSouth, which paid $25 million for an 11 percent stake, saw its shares rise 35 cents to $40.60.

Aside from those movers, trading was relatively quiet.

Amazon.com was up 88 cents to $16.54, AOL Time Warner gained 63 cents to $51.73, and Yahoo rose $1.61 to $19.28.

Among leading volume movers, Cisco rose 37 cents to $19.37, Sprint gained 53 cents to $19.84, Intel was up 52 cents to $27.12, and Oracle rose 75 cents to $15.26.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.

Topics: Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Government, Intel, Oracle, Software

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