The good old days of technology stocks leading the market higher are back.

All of the major indexes are in positive territory at midday on high volume with the

Nasdaq Composite

pacing the way, up 18.52, or 1.45%, to 1299.22. Trading curbs are in effect on the

Big Board

as the Dow is up 65.42 to 6507.91.

And once again it's


(INTC:Nasdaq) at the forefront of the rally. With the unveiling of its much anticipated MMX Pentium microprocessor this coming Wednesday in San Francisco, a couple of Wall Street analysts made positive comments about the Santa-Clara-based company.

Erica Klauer, an analyst with

Salomon Brothers

, upgraded Intel from a hold to a strong buy, setting a six to twelve-month price target of $165. In the process, she raised her earnings estimates for 1997 from $7.77 per share to $9 per share and for 1998 from $7.75 per share to $11 per share.

Intel, which was trading as low as 49 3/4 at the beginning of 1996, is up 4 to 134 3/8 today after reaching as high as 135 3/8.

The rest of the semiconductor industry rode on Intel's coattails:

LSI Logic

(LSI:NYSE) jumped 1 1/2 to 28 1/8,

Micron Technology

rose 1 3/8 to 31 1/8,

Texas Instruments

(TXN:NYSE) added 1 3/4 to 65 3/8 and


gained 1 to 60 7/8.

The mood in the technology sector today is in stark contrast to the rampant fears that ensued yesterday following


(CPU:NYSE) announcement that sales for its fourth quarter, which include the important Christmas selling season, would be below expectations because of poor PC sales.

Also on the down side,


(FILE:Nasdaq) lost its shirt, falling 8 1/8 from 31 3/4 to 23 5/8, at the opening after the maker of image and data processing systems pre-announced that earnings for the fourth quarter would be $0.20, well below consensus estimates of $0.32.

By Avi Stieglitz