RealTime IT News

Net Stocks Soar on Positive PPI

U.S. stocks were poised to put together a two-day win streak Friday following news that prices paid to farmers, factories and other American manufacturers fell in April for first time in more than a year.

At noon Eastern, internet.com's Internet Stock Index had jumped 28.90, or 4.3 percent, to 700.46, the Nasdaq Composite was up 112.87 to 3,612.45 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 122.34 to 10,668.31.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the producer price index fell 0.3 percent last month, a sharp turnaround from 1 percent increases in each of the last two months. The core rate, which takes out volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.1 percent.

Strong Internet gainers included Lycos Inc. , up 4-7/8 to 58-7/8. Friday Terra Networks confirmed it had held talks with Lycos that may lead to a major alliance. Lycos refused to comment on the reports, which said Terra may take a stake in the U.S. portal.

Cisco Systems Inc. had risen 2-3/8 to 62-5/8. The networking giant Friday acquired Sweden's Qeyton Systems for $800 million in stock. Cisco will take a one-time charge of 5 cents a share to fund the purchase.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. had jumped 10-1/16 to 111-15/16. The networking equipment maker was placed on Goldman Sachs' recommended list.

24/7 Media Inc. was up 1-7/8 to 19-1/2. ING Barings Friday initiated coverage with a "strong buy." Analyst David Doft set an 18-month price target of $60.

That action was helping shares of a few other Internet ad plays, including Exactis.com , up 2-3/16 to 12-1/8, Doubleclick Network Inc. , rising 4-3/4 to 57-1/2 and Netcreations , up 1-1/8 to 33-3/8.

Buy.com had gained 1/4 to 6-15/16. The e-tailer late Thursday launched a new wireless application which allows owners of Palm Computing's Palm VII and V handhelds to shop and make purchases there.

Prodigy Communications was up 1/4 to 12-1/16. Shareholders of Flashnet will meet May 30 to approve the company's acquisition by Prodigy.


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