Overseas News Helps Internet Stocks; IPO Fever Continues
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Word of overseas expansions from several leading Internet companies helped send shares of larger companies higher Wednesday, although the sector as a whole didn't follow the Dow's march to a new record and ended the day lower.
Internet.com's Internet Stock Index ended off 8.01, or 1.29 percent, to 613.99 while concerns over earnings caused the Nasdaq to shed 18.80 to close at 2,544.37. The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the downward trend, climbing another 121.82 to a record 10,085.31.
Among the day's strong gainers was @Home Corp. (ATHM) which climbed 3-11/16 to 165-3/16 after sealing a joint venture with Japanese cable operator Jupiter Telecommunications and Sumitomo Corp. to provide high-speed Internet service.
Spyglass Inc. (SPYG) soared 4-3/4 to 13-5/8 after the company signed a three-year, $20 million deal with Microsoft. Microsoft (MSFT) has licensed Spyglass' set-top box technology for use on devices running Windows CE.
Companies specializing in Internet audio and video continued to see gains. Market leader Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) added 3-5/16 to 198-3/4 after being as high as 220-5/8. Audiohighway.com (AHWY), which distributes audio and video content over the Internet, soared 10-5/8 to 28.
Finally, shares of Seagram Corp. (VO) gained 4-1/16 to 59 after it teamed with Germany's Bertelsmann AG in an music alliance valued at $10.4 billion.
The day's big initial public offering was Rhythms NetConnections Inc. (RTHM). Its shares soared 48-1/8 to 69-1/8 in their first day of trading. The company, which provides high-speed networking solutions using Digital Subscriber Line technology, also received a $15 million investment Wednesday from Qwest Communications International Inc.