RealTime IT News

Net Sector Dodges Bullets

Fed chairman Alan Greenspan put in an appearance and the Microsoft antitrust trial once again splattered the headlines, but the Internet sector still tread back into positive ground on Wednesday.

At 12:30 p.m. EST, internet.com's Internet Stock Index rose 33.51, or 3.72%, bouncing back to 935.42, while the Nasdaq Composite recharged to 66.95 to 4449.07 and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 57.40 to 10247.44.

Greenspan indicated that the Federal Reserve is not waivering in its plans to raise interest rates in order to hold off inflation. While foreshadowing of the hike caused markets to slide late last week, today's remarks were not immediately met with market fallout. Questions about market overvaluation still remain under the surface.

Good news on top of good news was the order of the day for AOL (AOL), whose stock rebounded 5-5/16 to 54-15/16. Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget called the stock undervalued, and a newly released CyberDialogue study said AOL/Time Warner means a major shopper influx for the ISP of the masses.

AOL could see a potential customer base increase of 26.8 million, based on new users expected to join the party from Time Warner's (TWX) cable subscription base. Its stock also received a nod from Merrill Lynch analysts, and rose 6-7/16 to 80.

Alcatel (ALA) upgraded its commitment to the North American market with the $7.1 billion purchase of Canadian mobile networking provider Newbridge Networks (NN), but investors didn't respond with enthusiasm. Both shares fell, Alcatel by 4-9/16 to 43-3/16 and Newbridge slipped 1-13/16 to 32-9/16.

PSINet (PSIX) gained favor in the markets today with news that it will establish a $1 billion venture fund for Internet start-ups; the stock skipped up 4-3/4 to 43-1/2.

Earthlink (ELNK) continued to rise today on a deal with Sprint announced yesterday. The AOL archrival rose 3 to 24-3/4.

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