Tech Stocks End Firm After Shrugging Off Rubin News

Cisco gains 6% after reporting earnings and a stock split, while Portal surges on news of a partnership deal.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- At last, the "Robert Rubin is resigning rumors" can now be put to rest. What also can be put to rest is whether the stock market would fall apart when Rubin did, in fact, resign. He did, and it didn't.

Like the broader market, technology stocks took a hit on news that Treasury Secretary Rubin would leave his position. But the initial negative reaction was quickly followed up by a recovery, and the

Nasdaq

was able to post close to a 40-point gain today.

Before Rubin's news,

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

appeared to have the market's attention after the data networker reported solid

earnings Tuesday night, while also announcing a stock split. It finished the day up 6 7/8, or 6%, at 118 3/4.

But Cisco also spread good fortune to

Portal Software

(PRSF)

, a customer management and billing software company for Internet service providers that just went public last week. Cisco said today it had purchased 3 million shares of the company, and designated Portal to be its strategic customer management and billing partner for next-generation data Internet protocol services. Portal Software ended up 9 3/8, or 30%, at 41, though that was far from its session high of 58.

The other big mover on the day was

Lycos

(LCOS)

after word officially came that its merger with

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

and

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch

(TMCS)

has been called off. Lycos closed up 8 3/4, or 9%, at 107.

While news of the breakup has been in the market since Monday, Lycos was able to rally again today on a couple of factors. In a note today,

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

analyst Keith Benjamin said the company is expected to have additional partnerships that could increase its value. In addition, Lycos is growing on its own, moving ahead of

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

in the number of unique users during March. Finally, Lycos remains a merger candidate, and could perhaps command a higher premium today, Benjamin writes. Benjamin reiterated a buy rating on the stock, saying he expects it to return to its previous highs of 145.