Online Brokers Lead Internet Stocks Higher
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Internet stocks posted strong gains across the board Monday, helped in part by bullish comments about the online brokerage sector.
The Nasdaq Composite surged 60.36 to 2,553.73, setting a new record and Internet.com's Internet Stock Index climbed 30.61, or 5.42 percent, to 591.86. The Dow Jones industrial average once again climbed above the 10,000 mark, closing up 174.80 to a record 10,007.30.
Bill Burnham, who follows the Internet brokerage sector for Credit Suisse First Boston, said Monday he expects many Internet brokers to beat first-quarter earnings expectations. That prompted a big upward march that sent Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) soaring 29-1/16 to 91-5/8, E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) climbed 11-3/4 to 72-5/8, National Discount Brokers Group Inc. (NDB) rose 4-9/16 to 32.
That news helped send shares of Security First Technologies Corp. (SONE) up 9-1/4 to 90-3/8. The company, which once operated an Internet bank, now concentrates solely on developing and marketing technology and services that enable financial institutions to offer banking services over the Internet.
One of the day's biggest percentage gainers was GCST Corp. (GCCT) which soared 8-1/32 to 14-1/32. The Internet shopping mall operator Monday announced plans to add online auctions later this month.