CMGI, eBay Lead Net Stocks Lower

Bad news from CMGI Inc. and online auctioneer eBay Inc. was helping send Internet issues lower in mid-day trading Friday. Action in all the major indices was calm, a condition analysts attributed to strong May retail sales figures.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was off 10.46, or 2.10 percent, to 488.23, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 39.57 to 10,660.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.78 to 2,486.40.

Shares of Internet incubator CMGI Inc. (CMGI) had plunged 9-1/16 to 92-7/16. Investors were fleeing after the company reported a fiscal third-quarter loss of 30 cents a share. That’s more than double the 13 cents analysts were expecting.

The company also announced plans to start two additional venture-capital funds over the next 10 months.

Online auctioneer eBay Inc. (EBAY) was off 8-3/16 to 174-1/2. The company’s auction site has been down since Thursday night. Officials said the service should be operating by 5 p.m. Friday.

Many of the Net’s other big names were lower, with Inc. (AMZN) off 4-1/2 to 111-7/16 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was down 4-5/16 to 140-7/16.

America Online Inc. (AOL) had slumped 2-1/2 to 103. Shares continued to be hurt by comments from Merrill Lynch’s Henry Blodget who predicted AOL’s international growth will be significantly lower than original estimates. He also said that growth will be hurt by the spread of free Internet access in the United Kingdom.

Domain registrar Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) was one of the day’s few positive stories. Shares were up 1-7/16 to 67-11/16 after the company announced Thursday it will launch a new service dubbed “dot com directory” in July. Listings in the domain directory will be free for NSI registrants, although those who go through competitors will pay an unspecified fee.

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