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RealTime IT News

Internet Issue Plunge

Internet issues plunged lower on Friday as investors pocketed profits and the premiere online shopping portal, Amazon.com, announced its plans to lay off 2 percent of its total work force.

In addition, the Labor Department reported the U.S. Employment Cost Index rose 1.1 percent in the fourth-quarter. Most of the rise was due to increases in wages and salaries, although benefit costs also climbed.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index (ISDEX) lost 43.02, or 4.99 percent, to 818.80, the Nasdaq composite fell 152.83 to 3886.73, and the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 289.15 lower to 10738.87.

L90 Inc. (LNTY) sold 6.5 million shares at $15, rasing roughly $97 million in its initial public offering. The online advertising network's offering was managed by SG Cowen Securities Corporation, Banc of America Securities LLC, CIBC World Markets Corp. and Wit Capital Corporation. Shares bolted 8-5/8 higher to 23-5/8.

Shares of Be Free Inc. (BFRE) rose 12-13/16 to 100-15/16. US Search.com (SRCH) announced that its new affiliate marketing program is "e-nabled" by Be Free Inc.

Paine Webber started coverage of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) with a "neutral" rating and $74 price target. In addition, AMZN announced its plans to lay off 150 employees, or 2 percent of its total work force. AMZN shares fell 5-13/64 to 61-47/64.

E-Loan (EELN) slipped 2-13/16 to 13-1/8. The online mortgage and loan provider reported a loss of $0.28 per share for the fourth quarter vs. the $0.31 loss estimate.

Web Van (WBVN) reported a $0.08 loss per share for the quarter, matching analyst estimates. The company announced it is entering 15 new cities during the next 24 months. Shares added 2-1/4 to 16.

Internet Capital Group (ICGE) lost 5 to 125. The stock continues sliding from its 52-week high of $212. The next month will be interesting for ICGE investors however, as the online incubator will IPO three of its high-profile partner companies: Universal Access, eMerge Interactive and Onvia.com. Reporter@Large-Luke Fronefield will have a research note for investors next week.