RealTime IT News

Rumors and Retail Dominate Market

While the general market was mixed, Internet shares ended strong, driven by a major announcement from Amazon.com, as well as rumors about the possible sale of Excite@Home.

The ISDEX climbed 10.29, or 1.98 percent, to 529.41, the Nasdaq Composite was down 27.35 to 2,728.90 and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 62.05 to 10,213.48.

Excite@Home (ATHM) surged 5-1/16 to 43-7/16. There are rumors of a deal involving AT&T and AOL -- which may involve the sale of Excite@Home. AOL (AOL) was down 3/4 to 109-1/8.

Amazon.com (AMZN) had jumped 15 to 80-7/8. The company Wednesday unveiled what will essentially be a virtual online mall, allowing individuals and small businesses to sell a variety of items to Amazon.com customers. The online retailer will also handle all the billing services.

eToys Inc. (ETYS) had climbed 6-1/4 to 65-7/8 after Goldman Sachs raised its rating to "trading buy" from "market outperform." The company also set an $80 price target over the next 12 months.

USWeb/CKS (USWB) was up 2-25/32 to 33-3/8. Microsoft agreed to invest $67.5 million in the company, so as to create new application services.

Internet telephony software maker VocalTec Communications Ltd. (VOCL) was up 1-1/4 to 14-1/4. The company announced it was teaming with Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) to develop and market Internet telephone systems to service providers.

Network Solutions (NSOL) had climbed 9-9/16 to 95-1/16. Lehman Brothers reiterated its "buy" rating after the company resolved its long-running dispute with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Other strong movers included CMGI (CMGI) up 2-3/8 to 100-5/16, VeriSign (VRSN) adding 1-1/4 to 104, Priceline.com (PCLN) up 1-5/8 to 63 and DoubleClick (DCLK) climbing 2-9/16 to 116-3/8.

On the IPO front, infrastructure company InterNAP Network Services Corp. (INAP) debuted today. It surged 32-31/32 to 52-31/32. The company provides high-end Internet access to such customers as Amazon.com and Nasdaq. The lead underwriter was Morgan Stanley.

FTD.com (EFTD) had a lukewarm IPO, with the stock increasing 5/8 to 8-5/8. FTD.com is an online retailer of flowers and gifts. The lead underwriter was Bear Stearns.

ShopNow.com (SPNW) rose 11/16 to 12-11/16. The company develops e-commerce platforms for merchants. The lead underwriter was Dain Rauscher Wessels.

NetSolve Inc. (NTSL) soared 6 to 19. The company provides outsourcing services for computer networks. The lead underwriter was Banc Boston Robertson Stephens.


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