Rubin Who? Techs Lay Aside Resignation News

Cisco returns to the limelight after a Rubin-filled morning.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Now that the shock of the Rubin resignation has worn off, the technology sector and the rest of the free world can get back to business.

While the

Nasdaq

and tech stocks dipped following the Rubin news, the sector soon stabilized along with the broader market, with the Comp posting mild gains by midday.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

has continued to lead the way after its stellar earnings report and its stock-split announcement on Tuesday. Shares of the networker were lately up 5 1/2, or 5%, at 117 3/8.

Cisco remained in the headlines today with its purchase of 3 million shares of

Portal Software

(PRSF)

, a move which has helped Portal's stock immensely. Portal Software was up big recently -- jumping 16 1/8, or 50%, to 47 15/16 -- but that was far from its session high of 58.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

has rallied on news that it has reached a $1 billion agreement with

Nintendo

for IBM to build a computer chip for Nintendo's next-generation gaming system. Shares of Big Blue were up 4 3/4, or 2%, at 225 3/4 in midafternoon action, after trading to an all-time high of 226 3/8 earlier in the session.

Cream With Your Browser?

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

as an Internet play?

Merrill Lynch

seems to think so. Merrill reintroduced coverage of the coffee powerhouse with a buy rating, saying the company is "positioning itself to become an Internet contender by constructing a combination content/commerce business model" that it plans to unveil in June.

Merrill also speculated on just what kind of Net business would be in a "starbucks.com" Web site. It said Starbucks' commerce platform would likely include its existing product lines, a new category of related consumer products and links to external businesses like

drugstore.com

,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

,

Barnes & Noble's

(BKS) - Get Report

barnesandnoble.com

and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

. The content platform, the firm said, would "center on lifestyle and culture and would subtly promote reviews/selections of music, films, literature," among other things. It also would strive to "create a virtual Starbucks store environment/experience that facilitates cultural and social exchange."

Merrill placed a price target of 55 on the stock. Shares of the company were lately up 1 3/8, or 3.5%, at 40 1/16.

Lehman Brothers

upped its price target on the stock to 50 from 33 1/2.

On the Internet IPO front,

Careerbuilder.com

(CBDR:Nasdaq), an Internet search network for employers and job-seekers, was recently trading up 3 7/8, or 30%, at 16 7/8.

Shares of

Allaire

(ALLR)

were off a day after they rallied following news of a business deal with

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

. Allaire gained close to 10 points Tuesday after the companies said they had reached an agreement to enhance the integration between Microsoft Windows DNA and Allaire's ColdFusion Web application server. Of late, the stock was down 4 1/4, or 6%, at 71.