Midday Report: Nasdaq Up, Yahoo! Trading Halted

Technology stocks were leading major stock averages higher for the third straight session on Wednesday, as investors poured money into issues that may have hit bottom in recent weeks.

By midday, however, most stocks were off their morning highs.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.14 at 2,204.57, led by gains in Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Worldcom (Nasdaq: WCOM) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 1.78 at 1,255.58, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 60.90 at 10,652.12.

Goldman’s Cohen Urges Buying

Reports that Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs’ chief investment strategist and a highly regarded stock-market bull, had advised clients to increase their equity holdings helped fuel the market’s advance.

Cohen reportedly recommended a model portfolio of 70 percent equities, up from 65 percent previously.

“We believe that attractive equity valuation has been restored,” news reports quoted Cohen as saying.

Yahoo! Halted

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell $1.41 to $20.47 before a trading halt was issued pending news. Chief financial officer Susan Decker reportedly canceled plans to speak at a Merrill Lynch Internet conference scheduled for Thursday.

In January, Yahoo! warned that results for the current quarter and year would be hurt by slumping sales of online advertising.

E-Commerce Issues Gain

The E-Commerce Times Index was up 2.61 percent at midday.

Egghead.com (Nasdaq: EGGS) was up 7 U.S. cents to 88 cents after announcing it will receive $20 million in financing from IBM Global Financing.

Egghead chief financial officer John Labbett said that the agreement should be enough to help the company operate until it reaches profitability.

Profit Warnings Continue

Unlike Tuesday, investors did not shrug off profit warnings from some technology companies, shunning a few that said quarterly results may not meet expectations.

JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) was down $1.13 at $26.89 after saying that quarterly results would fall short of its already lowered forecasts.

Internap (Nasdaq: INAP), which provides routing services, was down $1.66 at $2.69 after warning of a weak quarter and announcing job cuts. Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) was down $6.19 at $41.69 after it said slowing demand for its products would hurt quarterly results.

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