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Amazon, B2B Stocks Send Nets Soaring

Internet stocks soared Wednesday on a huge rally in B2B stocks and surprising strength in Amazon.com. The broader market was dragged lower by drug, retail and oil stocks.

The ISDEX gained 20 to 825, and the Nasdaq rose 21 to 4103. The S&P 500 lost 7 to 1502, and the Dow fell 112 to 11,103. Volume rose to 815 million shares on the NYSE and 1.52 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners held a slight lead on the NYSE, but advancers led 21 to 19 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our new after hours trading site.

CS First Boston made a broad bullish call on B2B stocks, and traders responded. Commerce One soared 10 9/16 to 62 15/16, breaking through 55 and 58 resistance. The stock's last rally topped out at 70. Ariba rose 7 3/16 to 151 11/16, i2 gained 8 25/32 to 166 13/16, VerticalNet added 2 1/4 to 56 1/8, PurchasePro soared 8 7/16 to 59 3/16, and FreeMarkets gained 7 to 81 1/8, continuing a strong run.

But CS First Boston downgraded the Internet consulting services sector on concern about declining business and seasonal weakness. Viant lost 1 13/16 to 14 5/8, Cambridge Technology dropped 1 11/16 to 6, Rare Medium was off 1/4 to 10 1/2, and Modem Media lost 13/16 to 10 3/8.

Amazon.com rose 3 3/8 to 43 on positive comments from Goldman Sachs, the latest brokerage firm to laud Amazon's move into the French market. Goldman also said it sees some signs of improving execution at Amazon. Technical Note: Amazon.com has broken out of a falling wedge, a bullish sign, and could go as high as $60. However, another retracement to the wedge boundary, possibly as low as $31, is not out of the question. The stock's downtrend appears broken, however.

Inktomi rose 7 1/16 to 126 1/4 on Buy ratings from Lehman Brothers and First Union Securities. For more on Inktomi, click here.

S1 lost 2 3/16 to 17 7/8, as investors sold on the news of a contract win from Yahoo . Yahoo finally bounced on a CS First Boston Buy rating, adding 2 1/4 to 123 1/4.

Juniper Networks added 7 1/4 to 203 3/8 on news that it will be added to the Nasdaq 100 Sept. 7. Corning rose 14 5/8 to 324 1/4, another new high, on bullish comments from Merrill Lynch.

Akamai gained 5 15/16 to 72 1/4 on an expanded alliance with PSINet , off 3/16 to 17 9/16.

Liberate rose 3 7/8 to 28 5/16 after winning a contract from BellSouth.

InfoSpace continued its strong run, rising 5 5/16 to 37 1/4 on news of a deal with ALLTEL.

Some technical comments on the market: The Nasdaq made it above the magic 4100 level today, but the real resistance may lie in the large-cap Nasdaq 100, which turned back at 3984, just below its recent high of 3987. And the QQQ , the Nasdaq 100 tracking stock, turned back exactly at its recent high of 99 1/2. If the Nasdaq 100 can clear 4000 and the QQQ can clear 100, the techs may have a little room to run. It is a plus, though, that the Nasdaq closed above its 50% retracement level of 4087. It still faces a downtrend line here, however, and as we've pointed out before, both the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 are rising in bearish "wedge" formations, with lower boundaries at 4040 and 3900, respectively. The Nasdaq may also be forming a head-and-shoulders secon