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Tame PPI, Bullish Comments Send Internets Climbing

Internet shares had posted solid gains by midday on the heels of a lower than expected climb in the core producer price index. Shares were also benefitting from another positive outlook from BancBoston Robertson Stephens' Keith Benjamin who continues to be bullish on the sector.

Just before noon, internet.com's Internet Stock Index had climbed 13.11, or 2.6 percent, to 517.62, the Nasdaq Composite was up 27.56 to 2,879.58 and the Dow Jones industrial average had jumped 40.84 to 11,120.24.

The Labor Department Friday reported the producer price index, a measurement of wholesale prices, jumped 0.5 percent in August, above economists' estimates for a 0.3 percent hike. However, the core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, dropped 0.1 percent, ahead of economists' forecasts for a 0.1 percent increase.

Also, in his weekly wrap-up of the Internet sector, BancBoston Robertson Stephens' Benjamin said he expects Internet stocks to soon return to their highs in part because of strength in the Internet advertising market.

Benjamin said e-tailers stand to see significant upside from strong holiday sales.

Rising on the news were Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) up 2-11/32 to 65-31/32, eBay Inc. (EBAY) rising 9-3/8 to 153-13/16, Beyond.com Corp. (BYND) moving up 3/16 to 16-1/8 and eToys (ETYS) up 6-1/4 to 49-7/8.

Priceline.com (PCLN) was up 11/32 to 58-1/2. The company said it set a one-day record Thursday by selling more than 10,000 leisure air tickets.

StarMedia (STRM) had climbed 2-3/8 to 47-3/4. On Friday, StarMedia and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HWP) announced they would launch an e-commerce solution that would target Latin American businesses.


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