LONDON -- The Land of the Free looks more like the Land of Uncertainty and the decision to have a recount in Florida has taken the shine off European equities.

After posting a swift 48-point gain in early trading, the

FTSE 100

by midday was up just 9 points at 6476 and the

Techmark 100

was up just 5 points at 3467. On the Continent, the

CAC-40

in Paris was up 13 points at 6399 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 36 points at 7112.

"There's no interest whatsoever," says one trader. "Volume is low and everyone is sitting on their hands." A salesman at a U.K. bank in London adds: "Everyone is using it as a wonderful excuse to do nothing."

In the telecom sector,

British Telecom

(BTY)

rose 17.5p to 786 ($11.40) ahead of its earnings results Thursday and reports that it will reveal its long-awaited strategic plan. But

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

fell 6p to 252 after announcing that it has bought a 25% stake in

Swisscom's

mobile subsidiary Mobil Com.

In the tech sector,

Baltimore Technologies

(BALT)

rose 10p to 525 after reporting better-than-expected results. The company announced third-quarter revenue of

20.1 million and a loss, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or LBITDA, of

7 million.

UBS Warburg

predicted revenues of

19m and a loss of

10.1 million.

Optical components developer

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

also rose after results that were better than expected. Bookham reported widening losses for its third-quarter, up 52% to

6.4 million on last year. But revenues increased to

7.7 million, an elevenfold rise on

684,000 for last year. Shares were up 28p at

23.11.

However, Deutsche Telekom's Internet subsidiary

T-Online

fell 1.20 euros to 22.05 after reporting a nine-month LBITDA of 53.5 million euros ($46 million), which just goes to show how differently investors treat losses at technology and Internet firms.

The likelihood of a victory by

George W. Bush

also helped drug and tobacco stocks, as investors reckon he will be kinder on both industries.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

was up 43p at

20.64, while

Bayer

was up 0.15 euro at 52.10.

British American Tobacco

was up 18.25p at 498.25.