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After four days of losses, the Nasdaq composite made solid gains Wednesday, and our own InformationWeek 100 index inched upward. But the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 indexes slide for a fifth consecutive day. Technology stocks, which have been among the hardest hit during this two-month correction, were among the day's big winners.
The mixed results came despite upbeat economic news released Wednesday morning. Demand for durable goods made in U.S. factories increased 2.5% in February--higher than the 1.7% increase economists had been expecting--and new-home sales were up 5.8% last month.
Novell's share price surged $1.17, or 12.4%, to $10.63 after the company said it had completed a $50 million investment deal with IBM, which will also ship Novell's SuSE Linux software with its servers. It was a good day for Linux vendors--Red Hat's shares gained 3% on its better-than-expected earnings report late Tuesday.
Microsoft's share price rose 26 cents, or 1.1%, to $24.41 despite the European Union's decision to hit the software maker with a $613 million fine for violating antitrust laws. The EU also ordered Microsoft to offer a version of its Windows operating system without its Media Player software. Intel, Applied Materials, and Hewlett-Packard shares all rose Wednesday. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $34.40, up 37 cents, or 1.1%, on moderately heavy trading volume of more than 111 million shares.
Our InformationWeek 100 index rose 0.98 points, or nearly 1%, to close at 309.82, while the Nasdaq rose 7.68 points, or 0.4%, to 1,909.48. However, the Dow fell 15.41 points, or 0.1%, to 10,048.23. The S&P 500 fell 2.63 points, or 0.2%, to finish the day at 1,091.32.
See the full listing of all the companies in the InformationWeek 100 and the top 5 percentage winners and losers for the last closing at informationweek.com/stocks.