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Tech stocks take another battering

Nasdaq dips as Dow climbsTechnology stocks took another beating Thursday as the Nasdaq composite shed 150 points to close at 3,727.20. However, the Dow Jones industrial average managed to scamper up 131 points to end at 11,253.26.

Profit warnings, profit taking and nagging concerns about interest rates were mainly responsible for the tech sector's decline.

"Things got a little bit too rosy and there's a bit of a comeuppance now," said Larry Wachtel, a market analyst at Prudential Securities.

Surprisingly, Gateway surged 4 5/8 to 59 5/8 after several analysts reiterated their "buy" ratings.

Dell fell 1 15/16 to 48 and Compaq added 3/8 to 28 7/8. Apple lopped off 9 to end at 95.

AMD gained 3/4 to 30 3/4 after it got an upgrade from an AMD critic Thursday after Gateway said it can't get enough Intel chips and could go back to AMD. Intel shares closed off 4 7/8 to 78 ¾ and IBM closed up 1 1/4 to 117 1/4.

Nortel Networks shed 4 7/8 to 85 after it said it will buy Promatory Communications, a developer of DSL platforms for high-speed Internet access, for up to $778m (£482m) in its common stock.

Lucent lost 3 3/8 to 69 but could lose even more ground after issuing a first-quarter profit warning after the bell. Cisco dipped 1 11/16 to 100 and 3Com closed up 3/16 to 44 1/4.

Internet stocks absorbed another drubbing Thursday as Yahoo! plunged 42 5/16 to 368 3/16 and AOL shed 3 1/8 to 70 15/16. Excite@Home dipped 1 9/16 to 38 3/8. Lycos fell 6 11/32 to 65 1/32 and Amazon.com closed off 4 3/16 to 65 9/16.

Barnesandnoble.com gained 5/8 to 14 13/16 as it said fourth quarter sales more than tripled to $81.5m. The company also said its fourth quarter loss would be in line with projections.

Microsoft shed 3 13/16 to 110. Oracle slid 6 to 96 and Sun Microsystems closed off 3 7/8 to 68.

Business management software maker PeopleSoft rose 3 15/16 to 22 as it said it expects its fourth quarter earnings to range between 2 and 4 cents per share.

Cobalt shares gained 13 5/8 to 24 1/8 after the automotive service company said it would create an Internet site that will move it into the hot business-to-business electronic-commerce sector.

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