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RealTime IT News

Green Comes Back to Net Sector

Internet stocks staged an afternoon comeback Friday recovering from a sell-off that had sent the ISDEX down almost 5 percent. For the first time in three days, issues finished the day in the green.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index rebounded nicely, + 10.66, or 1.12 percent, to 960.23, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 114.71 higher to 4572.60 and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 58.33 to 10921.92.

Merrill Lynch Internet analyst Henry Blodget came out again in favor of the Net sector, saying he remains optimistic about the potential growth and profitablitity of Internet leaders.

"We continue to believe there is long-term upside for the leading Internet stocks. We also continue to believe that the market is transitioning into a more mature phase of growth and that this transition, combined with a massive increase in competition across all internet sectors, will cause a shakeout and consolidation. As this consolidation continues, we believe the Internet spoils will increasingly go to the few, not the many" Blodget wrote in a note to clients.

Investors in Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) welcomed such optimism. Shares shot up 31-15/16 to 242-7/8.

ValueClick Inc. (VCLK) had a sluggish, but green debut into the public marketplace. Shares rose 1-15/16 to 20-15/16. The online ad firm sold 4 million shares at $19.

A number of business-to-business e-commerce issues continued taking it on the chin. Commerce One (CMRC) lost 24-1/16 to 149-1/4. and Freemarkets (FMKT) was down 14 to 121.

drkoop.com Inc. (KOOP) plunged 2-9/16 lower, or 41 percent, to 3-11/16. A report from the online medical site's auditors, released Friday, expressed "substantial doubt" about the firm's long-term viability.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) dropped 31-1/8 to 176. The online auctioneer was subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department. Although the details of the action were not released, it is suspected to be part of a price-fixing investigation into Sotheby's Holdings Inc. and Christie's International Plc.

E.spire Communications Inc. (ESPI) gave up 2-21/32 to 7-1/32. The provider of voice and data services Friday announced it had hired Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to examine fund-raising options. The firm is also delaying the release of its final 1999 financial statements.

Trader.com NV (TRDR) fell 8-5/8 lower to 19-3/8 after its IPO debut. The Dutch-based publisher of Internet classified ads sold 13 million shares at $28.56, raising $371.3 million.

Net2Phone Inc. (NTOP) added 3-3/4 to 59-1/8. A group led by AT&T took a 39 percent stake in the company. Yahoo! Inc. also made a substantial investment.

Quepasa.com Inc. (PASA) gained 1-3/8 to 6-3/4. Computer maker Gateway Inc. (GTW) took a $10 million stake