As

Aerosmith would sing, it's the

Same Old Song and Dance

. At midday, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was dining on the

Dow Jones Industrial Average's

lunch as the tech sector hogged all the attention once again.

The tech-laden Comp was up 94, or 2%, to 4791, after marking another notch on its record belt yesterday. Meanwhile, the blue-chip Dow was struggling for some follow-through on yesterday's 89-point hop. It bounced in a narrow range this morning, mostly on the downside, and was lately up 29 to 10,157. "The market leaders continue to be the same. Money continues to flow into tech," said Jim Volk, co-director of institutional trading at

D.A. Davidson

in Portland, Ore.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was also in the green, up 17, or 1.4%, to 1200, despite pressure from

America Online

(AOL)

and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

.

3Com

(COMS)

was still riding high, up 7, or 7.2%, to 105 on enthusiasm for its

Palm

(PALM)

spinoff tomorrow. The price range was doubled yesterday to $30 to $32 a share, reflecting the sizeable demand for the offering.

A flurry of activity in the telecommunication sector had the stocks buzzing. First it was news that

SBC Communications

(SBC)

and

BellSouth

(BLS)

have been chatting about merging their U.S. cellular-phone business to create a nearly national wireless provider. For more on the

chatter, check out coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Next,

Lucent

(LU)

said it plans to

spin off its

PBX

,

Systimax

structured cabling and LAN-based data businesses to shareholders, forming a separate company focusing on the enterprise networking market. Lucent said the new company will start out with an $8 billion business and a customer list that includes more than 90% of the

Fortune

500 companies. The

Nasdaq Telecommunications Index

was up 2.2%.

Investors barely blinked at numbers from the

National Association of Purchasing Management

which showed that U.S. manufacturing activity grew for the 13th straight month in February. NAPM's

Purchasing Managers' Index

, a gauge of overall strength in the manufacturing sector, rose to a reading of 56.9 compared to 56.3 in January and 56.8 in December. Economists polled by

Reuters

had forecast a slightly smaller gain, to 56.6, on average.

Despite the shakiness in the Dow today, Volk said he thinks "cyclicals are overdone on the downside and will continue to advance and broaden out". With earnings out of the way, interest rates will be the next story in the market he said.

The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 11, or 1.9%, to 588 1/2, on pace for another record close, while the

S&P 500

was up 13, or 1%, to 1380.

The 10-year Treasury was down 1/32 to 100 20/32, its yield at 6.41%, while the 30-year Treasury was down 15/32 to 101 5/32 and yielding 6.16%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's

Bond Focus.)

Market Internals

Breadth was positive on the Nasdaq on heavy volume. On the Big Board, breadth was narrowly negative on moderately heavy volume.

New York Stock Exchange:

1,417 advancers, 1,410 decliners, 712 million shares. 103 new 52-week highs, 100 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market:

2,337 advancers, 1,739 decliners, 1.3 billion shares. 427 new highs, 53 new lows.

For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately.