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Market Wrap: Chip, Hardware Issues Up Again

Technology stocks rose today as semiconductor and computer hardware issues advanced strongly for the second day in a row. Industrial stocks, by contrast, declined slightly in quiet trading.

Shortly before 4 p.m. EDT, the Dow was down 6.97 to 10,972, while the Nasdaq composite index was up 26.53, or 1%, to 2,705.86.

Today's star performer among tech stocks was online drug store Drugstore.com (DSCM), which closed its first day of trading at 50, about 180% above its initial offering price. The company raised $90 million by selling 5 million shares at $18 apiece. Drugstore.com, which has seen only $4.2 million in sales since its inception, now has a market value of more than $2 billion.

Strong performances by semiconductor issues led today's technology stock gains. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose 2.8% to 509.71. Intel (INTC), the industry giant, rose 2-13/16 in late afternoon trading to 70-3/8. Intel's stock rose 7% yesterday after SG Cowen & Co. analyst Drew Peck raised his rating on the company to "buy" from "neutral."

Other semiconductor stocks followed Intel's lead. In late afternoon trading, Texas Instruments (TXN) jumped 5-9/16 to 148-9/16, Micron Technology (MU) rose 4 to 61-7/8, and Lattice Semiconductor (LSCCC) increased 1-7/16 to 58-3/4.

Stocks of all major PC makers rose today. In late afternoon trading, Hewlett-Packard (HWP) rose 9/16 to 109-13/16, Dell (DELL) jumped 9/16 to 42-11/16, IBM (IBM) rose 1-1/2 to 127-3/4, Gateway (GTW) jumped 3-1/16 to 77-15/16, and Apple Computer (AAPL) rose 11/16 to 54-3/8.

After today's close, Compaq (CPQ), the nation's largest PC maker, reported a second-quarter loss of $184 million. The company also said it expects to cut 6,000 to 8,000 jobs and take a charge of as much as $900 million in the third quarter. Revenue rose 17% to $9.4 billion. Compaq's stock rose 7/16 today to 25-13/16.

Internet stocks gained back ground they lost yesterday. Yahoo (YHOO) surged 10-11/16, or 8%, to 142, while eBay (EBAY) rose 5-9/16 to 105-1/8.

Other large-cap tech stocks were higher today, with Microsoft (MSFT) up 1-7/16 to 90-1/4, Cisco (CSCO) up 7/16 to 63-3/8, and 3Com (COMS) adding 7/16 to 25-1/8 in late afternoon trading.

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