RealTime IT News

Rate Hike Can't Stop Internets

As expected, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by a quarter percentage point. While the broader market was mixed, Internet stocks ended the day on the upside.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index ended up 3.42, or 0.69 percent, to 495.69, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 34.10 to 2,753.67 and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 20.90 to 11,278.86.

The day's big risers included E-Loan Inc. (EELN) , climbing 6-3/8 to 29-3/4. The online mortgage company Tuesday purchased the auto loan business of CarFinance.com from Bank of America for about $67.3 million in stock.

CyberSource (CYBS) rose 3-1/2 to 28-1/2. The company announced that Rx.com, an Internet retail pharmacy, has selected CyberSource to power its real-time credit card transactions.

Rx.com will utilize the CyberSource Internet fraud screen, credit card processing and delivery address verification services to provide fast, convenient and fully automated payment services.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) closed up 5-3/4 to 92-3/16. Shares were benefitting from a U.S. appeals court decision to reverse a preliminary injunction granted in November to Sun Microsystems Inc. that blocked Microsoft from shipping a modified version of Sun's Java. Microsoft had contended its license allowed it to make modifications.

Separately, reports emerged Tuesday that Rick Belluzzo, who resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics, will join Microsoft to run its Internet operations. While SGI confirmed Belluzzo is leaving, it would not name the company he was joining and Microsoft would not comment.

America Online Inc. (AOL) finished unchanged at 99. The company Tuesday launched version 3.0 of its Instant Messenger program. Germany's Bertelsmann also announced it was selling its stake in AOL.

Net2Phone (NTOP) surged 6 to 53-1/8. The company signed a deal with Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) to distribute its online telephone services.

In addition, Hambrecht & Quist issued a "buy" rating on Net2Phone.

Verio Inc. (VRIO) moved up 3-1/2 to 40-5/8. AOL's European subsidiary Tuesday also expanded a marketing agreement with Verio. Verio will now become the exclusive e-commerce, domain registration provider and Web hosting company for Netscape Online, AOL's free Internet service for the U.K.

A number of Internet leaders were also higher, although none had significant news. Gainers included Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) up 1-15/16 to 120-5/16, Ariba Inc. (ARBA) jumping 13-3/8 to 140 and SportsLine USA Inc. (SPLN) up 4-9/16 to 25-3/4.

Finally, Getty Images (GETY) rose 1-5/16 to 20-7/8. The company purchased Online USA, which distributes celebrity news and photos.

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