The bank technology sector joined the general market's upswing last week and kicked off the year with a positive flourish.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 285.73 points in an abbreviated week of trading and closed at 7965.04 Friday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite closed at 1581.5, up 70.1 points for the week. Goldman Sachs & Co.'s index, which lists many bank technology companies, rose 9.25 points to close at 146.47.

In news affecting bank technology companies, First Data Corp. sold its Nationwide Credit unit to NCI Acquisition Corp. of New York for $155 million in cash. Atlanta-based Nationwide provides collection services to a variety of industries, including banking. It has $120 million in annualized revenue.

The sale will be recorded as an after-tax loss of about $60 million. Shares of Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data rose $4.1875 for the week and closed at $30.8125.

In other news, Fiserv Inc. bought the securities clearing operations of Hanifen, Imhoff Holdings Inc., a Denver-based investment bank. The deal was valued at $97.2 million in cash and stock. Shares of Fiserv's stock rose 75 cents last week, to close at $49.50 Friday.

Also, Computer Sciences Corp. said it will sell its wireless telephone billing service to International Telecommunications Data Systems for $100 million in cash and stock. Computer Sciences' stock price rose $4.25 for the week to close Friday at $82.8125.

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