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RealTime IT News

Net Stocks Gains 3%

Investors sent shares of Internet companies 3% higher on Monday, ignoring downgrades to 11 Net stocks by Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget.

The ISDEX gained 23 to 753, and the Nasdaq rose 75 to 3863. The S&P 500 climbed 16 to 1479, and the Dow added 99 to 10,867. Volume declined to 853 million shares on the NYSE and 1.31 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17 to 11 on the NYSE and 22 to 16 on the Nasdaq. The big economic reports for the week are tomorrow's second-quarter productivity and Friday's Producer Price Index. Cisco reports earnings tomorrow, Applied Materials on Wednesday and Dell Computer on Thursday. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings.

Blodget claimed his rating changes weren't so much downgrades as a "resetting" of ratings on Internet stocks, adding the Neutral rating in addition to Accumulate and Buy. The point was to encourage greater selectivity among investors in the group, he said. "The tide is no longer rising fast enough to lift all boats," he said.

barnesandnoble.com was one of the ones to wake up Monday with a Neutral rating, down from Accumulate, but the stock gained 1 3/8 to 5 1/8 on news of an e-books alliance with Microsoft . eToys also was dropped from Accumulate to Neutral, and the stock slipped 1/8 to 4 1/8.

Dropped from Buy to Accumulate were Webvan , off 7/16 to 4 9/16, Pets.com , up 5/32 to 1 7/16, Quokka Sports , down 1 1/8 to 5 7/8, iVillage , up 5/16 to 6 3/4, eBay , down 3/4 to 50, DoubleClick , up 3 5/16 to 38 1/2, Buy.com , down 19/32 to 3 1/16, and 24/7 Media , off 1 1/4 to 10 3/16.

i2 Technologies led the ISDEX higher, adding 15 15/16 to 142 after the B2B joint venture MyAircraft.com was cleared by European regulators. i2 was also part of a joint venture to streamline the B2B transaction payment process with Enron , Wells Fargo, CitiGroup and S1 . S1 was unchanged at 17 3/16 after trading as high as 19.

Digital Island rose 4 5/8 to 31 7/8 ahead of an analyst meeting tomorrow.

Homestore.com gained 2 7/16 to 33 1/16 on a Wit SoundView Buy rating and $40 price target.

Recent IPO I-many fell 2 1/8 to 12 1/4 despite a Robertson Stpehens Buy rating and a statement that the company is the "Ariba of e-contracts."

Adam.com gained 3/8 to 5 after reporting a second-quarter loss of 28 cents, vs. a 51-cent loss in the year-ago quarter.

Adatom.com rose 3/8 to 1 9/16 on news of a deal with the China Product Trade Net Center.

EarthLink added 13/16 to 11 3/4 on news that it had expanded business-grade DSL service from 4 to 14 cities.

Storage Networks gained 8 1/8 to 130 1/8, but down from an intraday high of 141, on news of a deal with Lycos . Sonus Networks continue to gain on last week's bullish conference presentation, soaring 43 3/8 to 261 3/8.

Some technical comments on the market: Nice day in the markets, but the lower volume means we are still waiting for the high-volume follow-through to last Thursday's reversal. The indexes are at some interesting resistance points: the Dow is just under 10,875, where it turned back recently; the S&P 500 is right at the bottom of 1480-1488 resistance; and the Nasdaq is just below its 200-day moving average (3906). The Dow is also only about 100 points from the upper boundary (just under 11,000) of its bearish