Thanks to the gigantic deal between

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, stocks were near their session highs, with the tech sector leading the way.

IBM was up 8 1/16, or 5%, to 174 13/16. Dell was up 2 7/16 to 83 3/8. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, Dell was most active on volume of 23 million shares.

As part of the agreement -- which the companies said they believed was the largest of its kind in the information tech industry -- Dell will purchase storage, microelectronics, networking, and display technology from IBM for integration into Dell computer systems. In the future, the agreement is expected to include IBM's copper, silicon-on-insulator, and other technologies.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 38 to 2303.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 160 to 9436.

The

S&P 500

was up 18 to 1245. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 394.

The 30-year bond was down 2/32 at 93 18/32, yielding 5.70%.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was up fractionally at 522.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down 1 to 95.

Brokerage stocks rallied, as the

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

has jumped 2%. Oil service stocks, which surged sharply yesterday, were rallying again today. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

has leapt 3%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,557 to 1,113 on 331 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 1,883 to 1,384 on 382 million shares.

On the NYSE, 46 issues had set new 52-week lows while 18 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 50 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 23.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active with 11 million shares changing hands. It was flat at 33 7/8.

Tech Focus

Among the major tech indices, the

Nasdaq 100

and the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

were up 2%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 3%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 2%.

Elsewhere in the news today, Germany's

Siemens

is about to expand into the data networking business by forming an American subsidiary, buying two private companies, investing in a third and hiring a senior executive from IBM, Martin C. Clague, general manager for global network computing solutions,

The New York Times

reported, citing executives close to the company's planning.

The manufacturing company is also in preliminary talks with

3Com

(COMS)

regarding payment of $1.2 billion for the 3Com unit that sells networking equipment to phone companies, the

Times

reported, citing the executives. 3Com was up 7/16 to 24 15/16.

In other news,

Bluefly

(BFLY)

entered into a marketing agreement with

Excite

(XCIT)

. Under the deal, Bluefly's online store will be integrated throughout Excite.com, WebCrawler.com, and the Excite co-branded channels of

Netscape's

(NSCP)

Netcenter sites through a combination of commerce, advertising and promotional programs. On the news, Bluefly was down 2 5/16, or 14.7%, to 13 3/8. Netscape was up 1/16 to 76 3/8, while Excite was up 1 7/16 to 108 1/8.

In the Newsletters

Ingram Micro

(IM)

is moving into the network-access resale business, according to a report on

Computer Reseller News'

Web site. The company yesterday launched rapid band, a new program that lets Ingram Micro resellers price and provide bandwidth services to their customers, the report said. During an undetermined trial period, the company will offer high-speed digital subscriber line data access from

Rhythms NetConnections

, a provider of DSL-based network connectivity, the article said. Ingram Micro was up 1/8 to 21 7/8.

11:03 a.m.: Major Indices Surge as Tech Sector Rallies on IBM-Dell Deal

Word of a whopping $16 billion technology pact between

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

gave technology stocks a shot of adrenalin as the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was leading the market higher, up 2%.

As part of the agreement -- which the companies said they believed was the largest of its kind in the information tech industry -- Dell will purchase storage, microelectronics, networking, and display technology from IBM for integration into Dell computer systems. In the future, the agreement is expected to include IBM's copper, silicon-on-insulator, and other advanced technologies.

IBM has leapt 8 15/16, or 5%, to 175 11/16, while Dell was up 2 5/8 to 83 1/2. Dell was most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

on volume of 19 million.

"Techs are up for a change," said Scott Curtis, senior equity trader at

Brown Brothers Harriman

, noting the IBM-Dell news has helped pump up the market.

Curtis, however, cautioned that people are still nervous about tomorrow's

employment report

. Economists expect an increase of 245,000 in nonfarm payrolls, according to a

Reuters

survey.

Lately, evidence of continued robust strength in the economy has sparked fears that the

Federal Reserve

will hike interest rates to cool down the economy, which has battered the bond market. Also, the bond market's weakness and rise in interest rates has particularly exposed the tech stocks, Curtis noted.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 39 to 2304.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 131 to 9407. IBM accounted for roughly 39 points of the Dow's gain.

The

S&P 500

was up 16 to 1244.

The small-cap

Russell 2000

was in its typical position of market up just 2 to 394.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 1 to 522.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was down fractionally at 96.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 3/32 to 93 18/32, yielding 5.70%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were beating decliners 1,502 to 978 on 224 million shares. On the Nasdaq, winners were beating losers 1,794 to 1,189 on 274 million shares.

On the NYSE, 37 issues had set new 52-week lows while 17 had touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 37 issues had set new lows while new highs totaled 20.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active with 8 million shares changing hands. It was up 1/8 to 34.

10:00 a.m.: IBM-Dell Deal Boosts Tech Sector

News of a $16 billion technology pact between

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

has pumped up the tech sector early on.

As part of the contract, Dell will purchase storage, microelectronics, networking, and display technology from IBM for integration into Dell computer systems. In the future, the agreement is expected to include IBM's copper, silicon-on-insulator, and other advanced technologies.

The pact, which spans seven years, also calls for broad patent cross-licensing between the two tech titans and collaboration on development of product technology.

IBM was up 7 5/8 to 174 3/8, while Dell was up 3 1/4 to 83 1/8.

The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 28 to 2294.

Elsewhere, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 46 to 9322. The

S&P 500

was up 8 to 1236. The

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 393.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

was up 1 to 97.

A quote for

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was unavailable.

The 30-year Treasury bond was down 3/32 to 93 18/32, yielding 5.70%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

American Express (AXP) - Get Report, up 1 15/16 to 109 3/4

:

Salomon Smith Barney

initiated coverage of American Express with a buy rating.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

RF Micro Devices (RFMD) , up 6 13/16 to 88

: The telecommunications equipment company yesterday announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) , down 2 3/16 to 85 3/4

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

CheckFree Holdings (CKFR) , down 2 5/8 to 32 7/8

.