Quieter time in Friday markets

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The strangest thing about Friday's trading was that both bonds and stocks rose in US markets. The Nasdaq rose 1.1 percent to 7896 (up 1.1 percent for the week) and the Dow up 0.3 percent to 7896 (up 1.3 percent for the week). The Nikkei rose nearly 1 percent on news that something was being done about the perilous banking sector in Japan. The Japanese PM will see Clinton this week. Adam Lashinsky in the San Jose Mercury was surprisingly surprised that the results of the top PC makers showed that market share and consistency in results was more important than the economy and overall industry trends. Adaptec was not punished by the Street for announcing preliminary Q2 earnings of around $145 million -- half that of the year-earlier quarter. The official result will be out in the third week of October. Xylan -- thought to be too dependant on Alcatel -- dropped 18 percent on Friday. Platinum Software fell 38 percent on concern about its Q1 expectations. Micron nudged up 5 percent when it said it was putting up DRAM prices because of demand. Citrix, for no reason connected with its products for management, suddenly put on $3 to $65 1/8 because it was entering the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400. Data services provider Acxion was up 11 percent after it completed its acquisition of May & Speh for $625 million in a stock swap. Other losers included Seagate (down 3 percent), Intuit & NCD (down 4 percent). Gainers included Varian (up 7 percent); Informix (up 6 percent); Boole & Babbage (up 5 percent); Adobe & SCO (up 4 percent). NEC spelt out the steps it will take to return to profitability: its 6 to 10 percent off top salaries, farewell to 6,000 employees (by attrition); reduced spending generally and a reduction in R&D. Packard Bell NEC reduced NEC's half-year's profit by $76 million, after NEC invested another $225 million in July to bring it 52.81 percent of the company. ®

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