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Market Update: Nasdaq Bounces, Dow Slips as Markets Go Separate Ways

Hewlett-Packard, J.P. Morgan dragging on Dow; Nasdaq climbs in spite of big losses for PRI Automation.

It was, once more, a tale of two markets at today's open. Investors were staging a bit of early recovery on the

Nasdaq Composite Index following a failed attempt to rally back from last week's losses on Monday.

But the

Dow Jones Industrial Average was getting whipped by weakness in

Hewlett Packard

(HWP)

and

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

.

Hewlett-Packard, which was downgraded by

Bear Stearns

this morning, was off $3.69 to 110.31. J.P. Morgan's stock may have been feeling renewed pressure to marry itself to another institution after Germany's

Dresdner Bank

said it is in talks to acquire U.S. investment bank

Wasserstein Perella

. There has been a spat of mergers in the financial sector of late. J.P. Morgan was down $2.93 to $166.38.

Despite drastic losses for chip industry supplier

PRI Automation

(PRIA)

, the most active stock on the Nasdaq this morning, semiconductors and tech bellwethers like

Qualcomm

TST Recommends

(QCOM) - Get Report

were helping the tech-heavy index hold on to some of its gains. PRI Automation was $18.19 lower to $24.50, while Qualcomm was up $4.25 to $62.38.

PRI Automation said last night that it expected to widely miss fourth-quarter earnings forecasts and received several downgrades this morning.

The Nasdaq was lately up 44.2 to 3940.5, while the Dow was down 52.5 to 11,143.

Elsewhere in the market, the broader

S&P 500 was lifting 3.66 to 1492.92, the small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 1.74 to 535.36 and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was 12.52 higher to 810.76.

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Sector Watch

Oil drillers were running higher this morning after

Banc of America Securities

made a bullish call on the sector, and the

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was lately up 0.78 to 545.57. Crude oil prices are again nearing 10-year highs hit last week after the Venezuelan oil minister Ali Rodriguez said overnight that

OPEC

is fast running out of production capacity. OPEC announced Sunday that it planned to increase daily output by 800,000 barrels a day.

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Bonds/Economy

The 10-year Treasury note was lately down 3/32 at 99 24/32, and yielding 5.783%.

Yesterday, a big rebound in oil prices and the specter of a flood of new corporate bonds put pressure on Treasuries.

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