SAN FRANCISCO -- A moderately positive day on the

Nasdaq

saw some strong gains in the chip sector and an IPO that shareholders hope doesn't prove to be a flash in the pan.

Shares of

Bottomline Technologies

(EPAY) - Get Report

, which rose 34 points on Monday after a number of firms initiated coverage of the stock last week, gave back much of the gains today. The company, which provides software to facilitate electronic commerce payments, closed 23 3/4 lower, or 26%, at 68 1/2.

Also,

Winfield Capital

(WCAP)

, which rose around 13 points Monday, closed 7 points lower, or 28%, at 17 5/8. And

CMGI

(CMGI)

, which gained 28 points on Monday, closed 11 7/8 lower, or 6%, at 180 3/4.

Among the day's winners was

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

, which manages Web sites and network infrastructure. It closed 14 1/8 higher, or 14%, at 116 1/4. The company announced in January that its board approved a 2-for-1 split and shareholders will vote on the split March 18.

The largest point gain was seen from first-timer

FlashNet

(FLAS)

, an Internet service provider. It closed 26 5/8 points higher, or 157%, at 43 5/8 in its initial day of trading.

Semiconductor stocks were among the hottest in the tech sector following Monday's release of the Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA, sales report. The SIA reported that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $11.1 billion in January, which was the first time in nearly a year that chip sales have exceeded year-ago totals. The SIA reported that revenue rose on strengthened sales in Asia Pacific and Europe.

The sector also got a boost from positive comments from

BT Alex. Brown

, which said in a report today that companies in the sector will "meet and most likely beat" profit expectations during the first quarter of 1999 and the balance of the year.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

led the way, closing 4 15/16 higher, or 5%, at 104 3/8.

Teradyne

(TER) - Get Report

closed 4 15/16 higher, or 9.6%, at 56 3/8.

Novellus Systems

(NVLS)

closed 3 3/4, or 7%, at 57 1/2.