RealTime IT News

Nasdaq Ends the Week on a High Note

Internet stocks rocketed higher in afternoon trading; internet.com's ISDEX was up almost 5 percent. Leading the charge were shares of Check Point Software, Inktomi, and VeriSign.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index was up 41.74, or 4.69 percent, to 932.24, the Nasdaq composite jumped 178.88 to 4,446.44, and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 2.79 lower to 11,111.48.

Check Point Software (CHKP) gained 19-47/64 to 196-31/64, Inktomi (INKT) rose 25 to 180-7/8, and VeriSign (VRSN) moved 21-15/64 higher to 176-1/2.

Shares of Priceline.com (PCLN) added 15/16 to 78-1/16. Shawn Milne, an analyst for E*OFFERING, initiated coverage with a "strong buy" and a $150 12-month price target.

"We believe that priceline's revolutionary name your price model is not only scalable to many different verticals, but also has strong networking characteristics that will drive significant growth and margin expansion. We expect revenues to more than double to $1.0 billion in the year 2000, driven by strong growth in its flagship travel service and recently added hotel and rental car segments, as well as new vertical markets" wrote Milne in a research note.

Several analysts followed the lead of Merrill Lynch analyst Sofia Ghachem, who initiated coverage of Safeguard Scientifics (SFE) yesterday with a "near-term buy"/ "long-term buy" rating and $100 price target. Today, Prudential Securities upgraded the stock from "accumulate" to "strong buy" with a $94 price target. Lehman Brothers initiated with a "buy" rating and $100 price target. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage with a "strong buy" and $70 price target. Shares of SFE finished up 8-3/4 to 59-1/4.

Opus 360 (OPUS) priced 7.7 million shares at $10 per share through lead underwriter Robertson Stephens. Shares gained 2-1/2 to 12-1/2. Opus360 operates the FreeAgent.com online freelance marketplace.

Internet Capital Group (ICGE) was upgraded from a "buy" to "strong buy" at Robertson Stephens. Shares slipped 1-3/16 lower to 72-11/16.

PurchasePro.com (PPRO) was up 1-1/8 to 58-3/4 after announcing the formation of a co-branded business-to-business (B2B) marketplace with Sprint.

Shares of Healtheon/Web MD (HLTH) finished 7-1/2 higher to 29-3/16 after two members of its board, Jim Clark and John Doerr, announced they would take a $200 million stake in the company.

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