RealTime IT News

Did Wall Street Finally Discover The Internet?

The shortest month of the year saw Internet stocks zoom to record highs, volume, and perhaps a newfound awareness with investors who may start to realize there's more to Web stocks than Netscape, Yahoo!, or Amazon.com.

Our exclusive analysis of ISDEX, Internet Stock Index, shows that since October 10, 1996, the all-time high for this leading pure-play Internet index--the only one that shows the latest cutting-edge net-centric stocks and not your all-purpose interactive media companies--was 137.92. That intraday mark was a full 37% better than the ISDEX benchmark of 100 of January, 1997.

Take a look at ISDEX, a sampling of Internet stocks, and our analytics for the group:

Microcosm Internet: ISDEX

ISDEX Open High Low Close Volume
total* 36,926 38,157 35,638 36,879 4,557,042,649
average 105 108 101 105 12,946,144
Feb-98 Open High Low Close Volume
total 2,429.90 2,507.07 2,360.97 2,437.29 432,142,500
average 121.50 125.35 118.05 121.86 21,607,125
Feb % vs. Overall Avg.        
% of total 7% 7% 7% 7% 9%
average % difference 16% 16% 17% 16% 67%
*since 10.10.96          
All-time high Open High Low Close Volume
27-Feb-98 130.56 137.92 127.89 134.76 35,038,100
% change vs. overall avg. 7% 10% 8% 11% 62%
© Mecklermedia          

Fueling the hoo-haa in ISDEX was President Clinton's oracle at the Robertson Stephens investment conference in San Francisco. Of course the conference itself also raised the profile of Internet stocks thanks to the bevy of companies presenting. In fact, Clinton wasn't supposed to be the speaker, Vice President Al (Techno) Gore was. Clinton said he "pulled rank" to get the gig.

The combination of Clinton and his tax-free Internet stance sent Wall Street trading. Look at the ISDEX volume trading on Feb. 27: 35 million shares. That's fully 62% more than the average ISDEX volume per day since Oct. 1996.

The final trading day of February capped off a hot month. Fully 67% more shares were traded in February versus the entire span. Nine percent of the 35 stocks in this basket index traded last month--9% of the entire trading for the group going back 17 months changed hands in the little 28 days of February.

No small feat in a universe of 4.5 billion shares for the sample period, or an average 12.9 million per day. Extracting meaning from the numbers doesn't take rocket science or calls to Psychic Friends.

With Microsoft's Bill Gates defending his firms' "bundle" strategy before the Senate, and Netscape's Jim Barksdale and Sun's Scott McNealy playing plaintiffs before Utah Senator Orin Hatch, the nation was glued to C-Span watching the inner workings of the new Internet era being debated as national policy.

From Clinton in San Francisco talking about the new e-commerce era to Senators in Washington trying to ensure a non-monopolist stance for this global computer network, ladies and gentlemen, the Internet is front and center on the U.S. agenda--the Beltway, Main Street, and Wall Street.