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With the bears back on the bandwagon, tech stocks were mixed tonight in extended trading as investors allowed the march of earnings reports and analysts' downgrades to sink in.

Chips, which led today's selloff within tech after analyst Joe Osha

turned bearish on some bellwether semis, were mixed in recent after-hours activity. Faring well was

Novellus Systems

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as its shares climbed 0.7% to $51.50 on

Instinet

and 1.2% to $23.00 on

Island

ECN in the wake of the firm's first-quarter results, released after the bell tonight.

The San Jose, Calif., company, which makes semiconductor production equipment, reported first-quarter profits of 62 cents a share, up from 17 cents a share in the year-ago period and beating the Street's consensus estimate by 1 cent a share. However, its earnings were down from 76 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2000.

"The first quarter results have begun to show the impact of the global slowdown in semiconductor capital spending. It is the most rapid decline we have seen in this industry. Despite the current downturn in our business, we are committed to investing in areas of research and development that we believe will continue to propel Novellus' position as a technology leader," Novellus said in its prepared statement. The company did not give forward-looking guidance.

Chip leader

Applied Materials

(AMAT)

managed to make up some of its earlier losses on the

Nasdaq, trading up 0.5% to $53.00 on Instinet but down 0.4% to $52.51 on Island.

Intel

(INTC)

, the beleaguered object of

today's downgrade by

Merrill Lynch

analyst Joe Osha, nonetheless remained on the selling board. Its shares, which closed at $30.32 on the Nasdaq, lately fell 1.1% to $30.00 on Instinet and 1.6% to $29.85 on Island.

And PC maker

Compaq Computer's

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earnings,

announced not too long ago, couldn't have helped boost sentiments. Compaq, the third-largest PC maker, posted first-quarter earnings a penny below scaled-back expectations, and forebodingly described its second-quarter as "challenging." In fairly light trading on Instinet, Compaq was down 4.4% to $19.75.

While tonight's late players did not immediately react to the news, they sent

Microsoft

(MSFT)

down 0.4% to $68.00 and

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW)

lower 0.8% to $17.43.

No Respite

The rest of tonight's hit list read like a bellwether bomb-fest. Fiber-optic supply king

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

led both after-hours platforms as the most heavily-traded stock. Unfortunately, its shares continued to tumble from their close, lately losing 5.0% to $22.98 on Instinet and 4.88% to $23.00 on Island.

Equipment giant

Cisco Systems

(CSCO)

was also the object of some profit taking, trading down 1.0% to $17.15 on Instinet. Rivals

Ciena

(CIEN)

and

Juniper Networks

dropped 1.4% and 0.7%, respectively, on Island.

But wait a minute;

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, the traditional whipping-boy for the beaten-down tech sector, climbed 4.6% to $9.62 on Instinet, up from its close of $9.20. The shares are still sharply off its 52-week high of $67.19, but tonight's small gain indicates that investors are still torn about tech. And that volatility in trading could persist as a theme for a while.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reutersundefined. For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.