RealTime IT News

Internets Tumble As Nasdaq Sees Fourth-Worst Drop Ever

Late in the day, the broader markets plunged with the Nasdaq Composite showing its fourth largest point drop ever. The markets renewed their concerns about the U.S. dollar and interest rates, leaving rate-sensitive Internet issues bruised.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index traded down 23.17, or 4.46 percent, to 496.22, the Nasdaq Composite had slumped 115.61 to 2,742.55 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 208.33 to 10,315.74.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) fell 4-7/8 to 91-3/16. The company announced it has filed with the SEC to spin-off Expedia as an IPO. Expedia is a leading online travel site. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters.

EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) dropped 1-1/8 to 42-3/8. The Internet provider Thursday announced it was merging with MindSpring Enterprises (MSPG) to create the nation's No. 2 ISP with more than 3 million members. MindSpring lost 5-1/2 to 27-3/8.

The deal was sending other ISPs higher, including Internet America (GEEK) up 1 to 12-3/4, Prodigy (PRGY) up 3/4 to 17-9/16, and Juno Online Services (JWEB) up 1/8 to 17.

Net2Phone (NTOP) climbed 3-7/16 to 58-7/8. An analyst with US Bancorp Piper Jaffray put a "strong buy" on the stock and sees the company reaching $85 per share in the next year.

CNET Inc. (CNET) rose 5-7/16 to 48-3/8. Larry Marcus, an analyst with Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, raised his rating on the company from "market perform" to "strong buy." He set a $75 price target over the next year.

As for the Net leaders, BroadVision (BVSN) was down 14-3/16 to 124-13/16, eBay (EBAY) dropped 10-7/8 to 138-1/4, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shed 5-3/4 to 173-3/4, America Online (AOL) fell 3-11/16 to 87-5/16 and Juniper Networks (JNPR) was down 6-3/16 to 182-15/16.

On the IPO front, eGain (EGAN) surged 11 to 23. The company develops online customer service technology. The lead underwriter was BancBoston Robertson Stephens.

Online incentive marketer CyberGold (CGLD) traded up 3 to 12. The lead underwriter was SG Cowen.

Luxury goods e-tailer Ashford.com (ASFD) was unchanged at13. The lead underwriter was Goldman Sachs.

McAfee.com filed for an IPO today. The company develops software security products. The offering is co-led by BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Hambrecht & Quist.

NetZero raised the price range of its IPO from $9-$11 to $14-$16. The company provides free Internet access services. The lead underwriter is Goldman Sachs.

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