The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

continued slightly weaker, while the tech sector maintained its strength this afternoon.

Profit-taking was blamed for the slump in the Dow. It was down 23 to 9713. The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 41 to 2378.

News of a proposed settlement between

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Federal Trade Commission

lawyers boosted the chip maker's stock. Intel was up 3 15/16 118 9/16.

Elsewhere in the news,

Goldman Sachs'

partners have approved a plan to take the company public.

Meanwhile, the

S&P 500

was up 1 to 1277. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 9/32, to 95 4/32, yielding 5.59%.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up 23 to 558.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 4 to 100.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,557 to 1,278 on 428.9 million shares. On the Nasdaq, losers were beating winners 1,937 to 1,775 on 582 million shares.

On the NYSE, 55 issues had set new 52-week highs while 32 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 61 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 58.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 13.9 million shares changing hands. It was unchanged at 34 1/4.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 31 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 5/8 to 44 3/4.

Focus: A Deal in Wasteland

Allied Waste

(AW)

is acquiring

Browning-Ferris

(BFI)

for $45 a share, a nice premium over its Friday closing price of 34 3/4. The deal's total value is $9.1 billion, which includes the assumption of $1.8 billion in debt. The deal will create the second-largest solid waste services company in North America (the largest is

Waste Management

(WMI)

) with about $6.6 billion in annual revenues and a national network of landfill, collection, transfer, recycling and other operating assets. The combined company, which will be called

Allied Waste Industries

, will be led by Allied Waste's current senior management team.

Shares of both companies soared on the news. Allied Waste was up 1 3/4, or 11.7%, to 16 3/4, while Browning-Ferris jumped 4 1/2, or 13%, to 39 1/4.

Meanwhile, Waste Management was up 1 1/8 to 49 15/16.

11:56 a.m.: Dow Worsens, S&P Goes Negative While Techs Stay Hot

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was enjoying solid gains, outpacing the rest of the major market averages as the lunch hour approached on Wall Street.

Tech giant

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

gained on news of a proposed settlement between it and

Federal Trade Commission

lawyers. Intel was up 3 7/8 to 118 7/16.

Last June, the FTC charged that Intel cut off customers and competitors in part in order to stifle competition. The proposed settlement was reached this weekend, the FTC said. Details of the deal, however, were not disclosed.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 27 to 2364. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 44 to 9692. The

S&P 500

was up 3 to 1273. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 12 to 546 and

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up a fraction to 96.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 15/32 to 95 10/32, yielding 5.57%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,488 to 1,220 on 305 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers were beating winners 1,803 to 1,652 on 414 million shares.

On the NYSE, 47 issues had set new 52-week highs while 22 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 49 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 48.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 9 million shares changing hands. It was up 7/16 to 34 11/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 25.8 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 7/16 to 44 1/2.

Tech Focus

Major tech gauges were all higher. The

Nasdaq 100

was up 1.6%, while the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was up 1.4%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 0.9%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 1.7%.

Meanwhile, on the M&A front,

BMC Software

(BMCS)

said it is buying

New Dimension Software

(DDDDF)

for $52.50 a share, or $650 million, in cash. BMC was up 2 7/8, or 7.5%, to 41 1/16, while New Dimension, which develops systems management software, was up 2 3/8 to 51 5/16.

In world of e-commerce,

Staples

(SPLS)

is up 2 1/16, or 7.3%, to 30 9/16 on news of its announcement of an online advertising and promotion agreement with

GeoCities

(GCTY)

to become the exclusive office supplies merchant for GeoCities' Shopping Center, and a charter member of the Web community's new "Pages That Pay" affiliate program. GeoCities gained 3 5/8 to 106 1/8.

10:55 a.m.: Nasdaq Builds on Gains; Dow Keeps Struggling

Technology stocks gained nicely, while the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down slightly after closing at an all-time high on

Friday.

Mergers and acquisitions and a proposed settlement between

Federal Trade Commission

lawyers and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

highlighted news this morning.

Intel rose 3 15/16 to 118 1/2 on the news. In June, the FTC charged that Intel cut off customers and competitors in part in order to stifle competition.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 33 to 2370. The Dow was down 9 to 9727. The

S&P 500

was up half a point to 1276. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 13 to 547.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up a fraction to 96.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 16/32 to 95 11/32, yielding 5.57%.

Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at

Ryan Beck

, said the stock market is still looking to the bond market for direction.

He said market participants will be eyeing the bond market and economic data and how bonds react to those reports. He said if the bond market hangs in there and rates go a little lower, the Dow can get to 10,000.

But Suskind added that it's "not going to be an easy way there."

On the M&A front,

Allied Waste

(AW)

is acquiring

Browning-Ferris

(BFI)

for $9.1 billion, which includes the assumption of $1.8 billion in debt. Allied Waste rose 1, or 6.7%, to 16, while Browning-Ferris jumped 4 13/16, or 13.9%, to 39 9/16.

CIT Group

(CIT) - Get Report

is buying

Newcourt Credit

(NCT)

for $4 billion, a deal which CIT said will create the largest publicly-owned company in the commercial finance industry. CIT gained 1/16 to 30 13/16, while Newcourt rose 15/16 to 26 3/4.

Fortis

, an international insurance, banking and investment group, is buying

American Bankers Insurance Group

(ABI)

for $2.6 billion. American Bankers surged 5 9/16, or 12%, to 51 15/16.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,337 to 1,206 on 207 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were edging losers 1,586 to 1,540 on 289 million shares.

On the NYSE, 43 issues had set new 52-week highs while 16 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 42 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 34.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 6.6 million shares changing hands. It was up 15/16 to 35 3/16.

On the Nasdaq,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was most active, with 20 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 3/8 to 44 7/16.

9:55 a.m.: Nasdaq Cruises Higher Early as Dow Stalls

Stocks were mostly higher, with the exception of blue-chips, while

Federal Trade Commission

lawyers and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

have reached a proposed settlement agreement regarding the antitrust action the FTC took against the chip giant.

Intel was up 3 5/16 to 117 7/8. The commission now has to approve the settlement.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 4 to 9732. The

S&P 500

was up 1 to 1277. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 24 to 2361. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 399.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 10 to 544.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 97.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 16/32 to 95 11/32, yielding 5.57%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

McDermott International (MDR) - Get Report, up 1 3/4 to 24

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Network Solutions (NSOL) , up 9 13/16 to 182

.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Merck (MRK) - Get Report, down 1 3/8 to 81 3/8

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

DoubleClick (DCLK) , down 3 3/8 to 116 3/8

.