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(April 20, 2001) -- The stock markets paused today as investors took profits from Wednesday's bull session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped a 1.07% to close at 10,579.80, down 113.90 points as several blue-chip stocks reported lower earnings. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also dropped slightly, to close at 2163.38, down 18.76 points, or 0.86%.

Analysts were not ready to call an end to the bear market, pointing to continuing softness in the economy as a threat to second-quarter profits, but they stressed that this week's interest rate cuts may help bring about a second-half recovery.

The surge in the tech sector also perks up hopes for the online agencies, which expect the Internet sector to begin recovering now. Razorfish moved up 67.14%, closing up 47 cents at $1.17, more than double its stock price in two days. Other gainers include, up 18.8% (closing at $2.09), Organic 17.78% (53 cents) and Modem Media 10.33% ($3.31). Luminant Worldwide rose 9.18% to close over $1; it gained 9 cents to close at $1.07. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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