RealTime IT News

Inflation, Rate Fears Bruise Stocks

Once again, investors got skittish about inflation and rising interest rates - hurting the broad markets. As for Internet shares, they were not immune.

internet.com's Internet Stock index plunged 19.10, or 3.26 percent, to 567.05, the Nasdaq Composite fell 43.49 to 2,872.46 and the Dow Jones industrial average dove 231.12 to 10,417.06.

One of the few stocks to buck the downward trend was MP3.com (MPPP) , which was up 3-1/4 to 46-7/8. The company announced a deal with Pearson TV and Peace Arch Entertainment, as well as with Francis Ford Coppola, to use MP3.com music content for the TV show "First Wave," a science fiction show.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was off 5 to 116-1/16. Several users have reported a bug in the new AOL version 5.0 software, which the company knew about prior to the release. The error prevents users from logging onto the Net. AOL also signed a deal with Universal Studios to put kiosks inside the theme parks.

Excite@Home (ATHM) signed a deal with IBM to make Excite the default portal of the IBM Aptiva PC line. Despite this, Excite@Home was still down 3-1/8 45-1/16.

Vitria Technology (VITR) surged 8-7/16 to 55. A CS First Boston analyst put a "strong buy" rating on the stock. Vitria Technology is an e-business infrastructure software company.

As for the Net leaders, Amazon.com Corp. (AMZN) closed off 3-7/16 to 84-15/16, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) fell 5-13/16 to 103-13/16, Juniper Networks (JNPR) tumbled 21-1/2 to 222-1/2 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) closed down 7-1/2 to 173-7/8.

The big winner of the session was E.piphany Inc. (EPNY) which soared 10-11/16 to 62-11/16. The company, whose software analyzes customer data on the Internet, sealed a deal with Amazon.com.

Homestore.com (HOMS) was off 2-1/4 to 45-7/8 after purchasing Homefair.com for $85 million.

Stamps.com Inc. (STMP) leaped 2-1/2 to 35 after reaching a deal with IBM Corp. (IBM) to put its postage software on IBM's Aptivas.

Modem Media Poppe Tyson (MMPT) had jumped 10-1/4 to 50 after saying third-quarter revenues will exceed $21 million. BancBoston Robertson Stephens also reiterated its "strong buy."

Phone.com (PHCM) had gained another 9-13/16 to 214-13/16. Shares continued to benefit from Monday's deal with Ireland's Apion Ltd.

On the IPO front, Collectors Universe set the terms of its IPO at 4 million shares between the prices of $7-$9. The company auctions collectibles from its Web site. The lead underwriter is Needham & Co. and the proposed ticker symbol is CLCT.

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