Midday Report: Nasdaq Edges Higher as Cisco, Sun Rally

Technology stocks that helped drag the major stock averages lower last weekstaged modest rebounds on Monday, helping lift the Nasdaq Composite Indexinto positive territory by midday.

The index stood at 2,474.86, up 3.89. Stocks traded in a narrow range aheadof Tuesday’s congressional appearance by Federal Reserve Chairman AlanGreenspan, who is due to report on the state of the economy.

“The difficulty in trying to catch the right technical issues in this weakNasdaq climate is that it is becoming more and more difficult to predictearnings over the next few quarters,” Alan Ackerman, market strategist at Fahnestock & Co., told the E-Commerce Times.

Ackerman added that “the extent of the slowdown in the U.S. economy has taken many by surprise,and while the Fed may lower rates immediately ahead, it may take tech stockslonger to get back into gear.”

On Friday, a slide in tech issues helped the Nasdaq wipe out its gains forthe year.

“Tech stocks continue to be temperamental, and on balance, appear to havesome downside left, especially the higher multiples,” said Ackerman.

Emulex Falls

The latest casualty was Emulex Corp. (Nasdaq: EMLX), down US$37 at $40.50 following reports that the company, which makes computer circuits, is seeingorders delayed into the quarter ending in June, and as a result could reportlower-than-expected revenue growth for the period.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) was up 62 cents at $28.81 in middaytrading Monday, stemming a three-day slide sparked by a disappointingquarterly earnings report.

Chipmaker Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) was up 19 cents at $24.75.

MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP) was up 44 cents at $4.69 ahead of an expected courtruling that could decide the fate of rival music-download site Napster.MP3.com also reported gains in traffic and page views for January.

E-Commerce Inches Higher

The E-Commerce TimesIndex was up 0.21 percent at midday, with solid gains in bellwetherssuch as Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay, Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY). However, Travelocity(Nasdaq: TVLY) and Webvan Group (Nasdaq: WBVN) were lower.

eBay was up $2.69 at $47.25 following reports that the online auctioneer isin talks to buyFrance’s iBazar Group SA for about 100 million euros (US$92 million) instock. Such a deal would give eBay an edge over its European-based rival,QXL ricardo PLC (Nasdaq: QXLC), reports said.

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