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Technology finds bid and has indexes mixed

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Technology stocks as depicted by the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,245 +0.5% have found bidders and now trade at their best levels of the morning as PeopleSoft (NASDAQ:PSFT) $18.25 +6.4% lead the NASDAQ-100 gainers list after Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) $13.37 sweetened its unsolicited offer to $19.50 per share.

Also showing gains among the NASDAQ-100, which has bolstered its Tracking Stock (AMEX:QQQ) $30.95 +0.65% to challenge the $31.00 level are Nextel Communications (NXTL) $17.66 +6.49% (new 52-week high), RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD) $5.92 +4.6% and Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) $26.94 +4.9%.

Gains in Nextel (NXTL) are being spurred after Fechtor Detwiler said its channel checks indicate NXTL's quarter is tracking ahead of expectations, which by the firm's calculation would be more than 1.1 million new subscribers added for calendar Q2. While Fechtor said it still believes there are some longer-term risks associated with NXTL, current quarter trends look positive.

Earlier sector action had been broadly negative, but that's turned more mixed at this hour with the Networking Index (NWX.X) 194.18 +1.52% reversing earlier losses to now hold this morning's top spot among sector winners. The Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) 376 +1.15% has reversed earlier losses as Goldman Sachs said the May book-to-bill of 0.89 was below their estimates of 0.91 (consensus was 0.88), but the firm reiterated its "attractive" view on the group and believes that investors with a 6-9 month view should be overweight the group due to increasing signs of cyclical growth beginning in Q3 and valuations for the bulk of the group are reasonable on a normalized free cash flow based analysis.

Financial sectors are weighing on the S&P 500 Index (SPX.X) 1,009 -0.2% and S&P 100 Index (OEX.X) 509.37 -0.23% performance relative to the NASDAQ-100, as the Broker/Dealer Index (XBD.X) 548 -1.54% leads non-tech declines. Banks as depicted by the more regional S&P Banking Index (BIX.X) 311 -0.54% and more multi-national KBW Banking Index (BKX.X) 548 -1.5% along with S&P Insurance Index (IUX.X) 274.4 -0.97% all trade lower. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MWD) $47.65 -4% leads the broker declines after reporting earnings before this morning's opening bell.

The Dow Industrials (INDU) 9,280 -0.45% are lower by 42 points, but have moved off their lows of 9,232.05. Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) $28.80 -9.9% is today's casualty after warning on earnings, while Honeywell (NYSE:HON) $29.02 +1.57% leads component gainers after Lehman raised price targets on the Dow component as well as General Electric (NYSE:GE) $31.17 -0.09% and 3M (NYSE:MMM) $130.97 +0.68%. Dow breadth at this hour is negative with 19 decliners and 11 advancers.

Jeff Bailey

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