Digital Downloads Spark Investor Interest

Music download site Liquid Audio went public Friday and investors interested in the new music distribution system sent its stock soaring, while indices were mixed at midday.’s Internet Stock Index slipped 4.02 at midday to 565.11, the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.72 to 2769.14 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.21 to 11148.1.

Lehman Brothers priced music download site Liquid Audio (LQID) at $15 early Friday, above its $10-$12 estimate. The company’s shares took off just before midday, reaching $48 before falling to 39 1/8, up 160 percent. Intel has an 18 percent stake in the multimedia site.

Digital download hype didn’t help fellow music site CDNOW (CDNW) as of midday, despite news of its alliance with Microsoft and Atlantic Records to offer downloadable music. Its stock slipped 7/16 to 19 3/8.

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