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TECH STOCKS: Waiting For Greenspan

The markets didn't move much on Monday as investors waited for this week's Congressional testimony by the Federal Reserve Board chairman.
The markets spent most of Monday in a hurry-up-and-wait mode while they looked toward Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony before Congress later this week. The InformationWeek 100 index was up slightly, but the other major indexes closed narrowly lower.

While a merger between Netscreen Technologies and Juniper Networks gave tech stocks some support, uncertainty over Greenspan's remarks, expected Wednesday and Thursday, could combine with the upcoming holiday weekend to keep institutional investors from taking big positions this week, said Michael Murphy, head trader at Wachovia Securities. "I think there will be directionless trading with a lot of volatility until he talks, so that shoots almost the whole week,'' Murphy told The Associated Press. "Until then, it's more of the same."

The InformationWeek 100 rose 1.59, or 0.5%, to 334.26, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 3.44, or 0.2%, to 2,060.57, after dipping 0.1% last week. The Nasdaq 100 tracking stock fell 1 cent to $37.12 on light volume of just under 58.4 million shares,

The Dow Jones industrials fell 14.00, or 0.1%, to 10,579.03 after rising 1% last week. The Dow stayed within a narrow 54-point range Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.95, or 0.3%, to 1,139.81, following last week's 1% gain.

Netscreen, a maker of Internet security hardware, soared $9.54, or 36%, to $35.94, after agreeing to be acquired by Juniper Networks in a $4 billion stock swap. Juniper fell $3.29, or 11%, to $26.18.

E-commerce company InterActiveCorp rose $1.09 to $33.04 after beating estimates, thanks to strong sales for travel sites such as Hotels.com and Expedia, ticketing site Ticketmaster, and online personals site Match.com, as well as its Home Shopping Network.

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