RealTime IT News

Watching Grass Grow

Broader markets eased off of yesterday's roaring climb, settling into a sideways trading range through most of the day. The NYSE dipped 4.80 to 10,522.33, despite pockets of strength in consumer cyclicals, while the Nasdaq slumped 58.50 to 3,400.98 on signs of weakness throughout tech stocks and Internets. And following Tuesday's raucous gains, the ISDEX shed 2.60%.

Britain's largest ISP continued to soar on takeover speculation. Following impressive gains yesterday, Freeserve jumped another 6-1/2 to 78-1/2, after the company's parent, Dixons, indicated it is entertaining offers from buyers that include Spanish ISP Terra Networks . A deal is expected to materialize sometime next week.

Network Solutions jumped 1-13/16 to 147-13/16, after the domain registrar announced plans to gift over 300 domain names, and discount thousands more to the Chinese government following last week's House bill approval of normalizing trade relations with China.

Shares of StarMedia Network marched 1-11/16 to 17-15/16, after Credit Suisse First Boston initiated coverage of the Latin Web portal with a "buy" rating, with a 12-month price target of $29. This comes on the heels of ancillary competitor quepasa.com's struggle to raise funding to remain a going concern.

Fatbrain.com executives were busy trying to boost their sagging stock, announcing it will deliver quarterly results ahead of Wall Street expectations next week. Shares of the online bookseller tacked on 1-5/16 to 6-9/16.

Shares of HotJobs.com leapt 1-1/2 to 11-9/16 following news that Paine Webber upped its rating on the online recruiting Web site from "neutral" to a "buy," with a 12-month price target of $15. Rivals failed to climb in sympathy, as shares of Careerbuilder remained unchanged at its 52-week low of 2-5/16.

Ask Jeeves tumbled 1-5/8 to 20 after the company reported its CEO Ted Briscoe is jumping ship for privately-held Play Streaming Media. Briscoe is expected to stay on with the question-and-answer search engine through the second quarter to afford a smooth transition for new management.

Shares of DSL.net sank 3/16 to 6-5/16, after the business ISP announced plans to expand its customer offerings to include application hosting and server co-location services through its latest acquisition of B2B ISP solutions firm VISI.com, based in Minneapolis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.