RealTime IT News

Internet Issues' Slide Picks Up Leading To Close

What was already a down day for Internet issues got worse late in the session Thursday during a day where a successful initial public offering was about the only thing in the sector that excited investors.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index sunk 19.30, or 3.99 percent, to 465.01, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 28.67 to 2,403.74 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 85.80 to 10,663.69.

Ned Collins, head of trading at Daiwa Securities America, told Reuters the downturn could be caused by margin calls. When investors receive a margin call, they are required either to put in more money or sell off stock to offset losses.

Gregory Nie, technology analyst at Everen Securities, told Reuters he thinks shares in the volatile sector may have started to bottom out.

"It looks like the intensity of the pressure is easing up and I would look for the Internets to perform in line with the market," he said.

The day's big winner was IXL Enterprises Inc. (IIXL) which shot up 5-7/8 to 17-7/8. The company, which helps businesses design Internet solutions, debuted Thursday after selling 6 million shares at $12 each on Wednesday.

Most of the sector's familiar names ended down, although none posted significant news.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) lost 7-1/16 to 105-1/16 after being as high as 114-1/2 earlier in the session, America Online Inc. (AOL) lost 3-11/16 to 106-7/16, eBay Inc. (EBAY) sunk 7-1/2 to 161-5/16 and Inktomi Corp. (INKT) dropped 4-7/16 to 87-1/16.

Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) was the biggest loser in a mixed e-tailing sector. Priceline's shares plunged about 10 percent, losing 8-25/32 to 84-1/8.

Recent IPO Star Media Network (STRM) lost 8-11/16 to 40-1/4.

E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) gave back 7/8 to 37-3/8 despite being named the top Internet broker in Gomez Advisors' latest rankings.


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