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Intel, Microsoft Go Their Separate Ways

The chip giant joined Dell in advancing even as Microsoft continued a recent retreat.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Follow Intel (INTC) - Get Report or Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report? Ride the Dow's tail or do your own thing?

For tech stocks today, there was a general lack of direction, with the

Nasdaq

ending up 11 points. Microsoft closed 4 1/4 lower at 145 3/4 following news that

TST Recommends

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

would sell computers with

Red Hat Software's

Linux operating system.

Meanwhile, Intel rallied following the launch of its Pentium III chip. It closed 3 1/2 higher at 128 1/8.

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

stabilized after a revenue-shortfall-inspired selloff, closing 1 7/16 higher at 83.

Net stocks were mostly lower, with

Broadcast.com

one of the exceptions. Broadcast.com rallied 9 15/16, or 17%, to 68 1/8 after it received an upgrade from

Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette

, though the upgrade came following Wednesday's news that

CMGI

(CMGI)

would be starting up its own Internet broadcasting company. CMGI closed 2 11/16 higher at 100 5/8.

CNet

(CNET) - Get Report

was one of the leading losers on the Nasdaq, though the losses came on relatively light volume and without any news. CNet dropped 10 3/8, or 8.6%, to 110. CNet could benefit on Friday if the debut of

Vignette

(VIGN)

is a success. CNet owns close to 10% of Vignette, which provides Internet relationship management software.

Also falling sharply was

Sipex

(SIPX)

, a semiconductor company that posted better-than-expected earnings, but was cautious in its sales outlook. Sipex dropped 11, or 46%, to close at 12 13/16.