B2B Stocks Lead Net Rally

A number of business-to-business Internet stocks which have been beaten up in the recent market declines were posting a strong showing in Friday’s broad-based rally.

Helping matters was news that the nation’s unemployment rate rose unexpectedly in May. The Labor Department said Friday the unemployment rate rose to 4.1 percent in May, up from April’s 30-year low of 3.9 percent. The number of private industry and government workers rose only 231,000, the lowest increase in three months. The news led many to hope to Federal Reserve will avoid raising interest rates for the seventh time in 2000 when it next meets.

BroadVision Inc. had jumped 7-1/4 to 50-3/4. CS First Boston’s Brent Thill reiterated his “strong buy,” after management predicted the company will exceed analysts’ revenue estimates for this year.

That news was making winners out of other B2B issues, including Ariba Inc. , soaring 8-7/8 to 67-3/4 and Infospace.com Inc. , up 5-9/16 to 55-5/8.

Other leaders on the move included Cisco Systems Inc. , up 3-5/8 to 64-9/16, Broadcom Corp. , jumping 16-5/16 to 160-15/16, Checkpoint Software , rising 25-5/8 to 222-3/8, Doubleclick Inc. , up 5-3/8 to 51-1/8, Inktomi Corp. , up 11-1/2 to 131-1/2 and Yahoo! Inc. had climbed 9-1/16 to 129-1/8

VeriSign Inc. , was up 19-5/8 to 174-3/16. The company is joining the Nasdaq 100 index, replacing Network Solutions which it acquired in March. Network Solutions was also up 21-11/16 to 187.

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