eBay Paces Rally

eBay paced an overdue stock market rally Thursday on a partnership with Yahoo and an upgrade from Prudential.

The search and advertising deal, designed to better compete against Google , sent eBay’s beaten-down shares 12% higher. Prudential upgraded eBay on the deal, saying its 30% decline this year had made for an attractive valuation. The firm also wondered if the two Internet companies might forge a more formal alliance down the road.

Shares of Google, meanwhile, rose for a second day on optimism ahead of a conference call with investors and analysts May 31. Google also announced a deal to install its software on Dell PCs.

The broader market gained on GDP and housing reports that weren’t as strong as feared. Also helping investor sentiment was the conviction of former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling on securities fraud and conspiracy charges. GM and Wal-Mart paced blue chip gains.

The Nasdaq rose 29 to 2198, the S&P 500 climbed 14 to 1273, and the Dow gained 94 to 11,211. Volume declined to 2.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.03 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 25-7 on the NYSE, and 22-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 82% on the NYSE, and 41% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 34-83 on the NYSE, and 58-69 on the Nasdaq.

Vonage continued to fare badly in the wake of its IPO, losing 12% for the second straight day.

SBA gained 7% on an upgrade.

BlueCoat and Opsware fell on their results.

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