RealTime IT News

Internets Beat Blue Chips, Techs

Stocks ended mixed Wednesday as interest rate fears took a toll on techs and blue chips although Internet stocks were able to break from the pack.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index was up 4.14, or 0.86 percent, to 485.09 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 12.61 to 2,658.61 while the blue chip Dow Jones industrial average slumped 131.40 to 10,985.68.

Yesterday, Lycos (LCOS) reported its fiscal fourth quarter earnings of one cent a share. First Call expected break-even. The stock increased 2-7/16 to 44-3/4.

Internet stocks got much support by comments from Merrill Lynch & Co.'s Henry Blodget, who raised his ratings on Yahoo! and Amazon.com to "short-term buy." Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) jumped 3-7/8 to 113-1/8 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was up 6-3/16 to 145-1/16.

He also recommended investors buy a number of sector leaders, including America Online Inc. (AOL) up 1-3/4 to 99-1/4, eToys Inc. (ETYS) up 4-13/16 to 45-1/16, Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) up 7/16 to 40-1/16, Inktomi Corp. (INKT) moving up 3 to 119 and Barnesandnoble.com (BNBN) which had jumped 2-1/2 to 19-1/4.

Blodgett expects online shopping during the holiday season to be two to three times bigger than last year.

Both Oracle (ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard (HWP) announced a deal to develop Web products for businesses. Oracle was down 1-13/16 to 35-1/2 and Hewlett-Packard down 2-3/16 to 102-5/16 .

Online portal Mediconsult.com (MCNS) rose 1-11/32 to 8-1/8. Credit Suisse First Boston issued a "strong buy" rating.

Online retailer Bluefly (BFLY) climbed 1-5/16 to 10-3/8. The company signed a distribution deal with America Online.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) had climbed 8-3/16 to 125-15/16. Josephthal & Co. Wednesday upgraded the online auctioneer to "strong buy" from "buy."

iVillage Inc. (IVIL) tumbled 7-1/8 to 45-7/8. The company this week filed to sell an additional 2.7 million common shares.

Online brokers were slumping Wednesday following a report from BancBoston Robertson Stephens forecasting lower revenues for E*Trade Group Inc. and Ameritrade Holding Corp. E*Trade, which also announced a lower commission schedule for active online traders, (EGRP) was off 2-3/16 to 28-1/16, Ameritrade (AMTD) had fallen 1-11/16 to 23-13/16, National Discount Broker Group Inc. (NDB) had fallen 2-1/8 to 33-7/8, and Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH) had tumbled 1-15/16 to 43-9/16.

There were no Internet IPOs today. However, two IPOs announced cuts in their price ranges. MyPoints.com, which is a Net direct marketer, priced its IPO at $8, below its $10-$12 price range. As for Bamboo.com, a multimedia real estate site, it disclosed that its IPO will likely be priced at $8, which is below the $10-$12 price range. The company also reduced the number of shares to be issued from 5 million to 4 million.

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