eBay, Yahoo and Amazon, Oh My!

The new Internet leaders have emerged – and they’re the same as the old ones.

eBay , Yahoo and Amazon.com hit new 52-week highs together on Tuesday for perhaps the first time since 1999.

The three Internet giants are executing where former competitors have fallen by the wayside – and are no doubt benefiting from the demise of much of that competition. They have built solid Brands with a capital ‘B’ – one of the hardest things to do in business. They have streamlined costs, pursued new revenue opportunities and appear poised to produce profits.

The problem is, after 300% or greater gains off their lows, they’re now priced like the Great Nasdaq Bear Market never happened. eBay trades at 97 times earnings – but as the fastest-growing of the three, it’s probably the most reasonably valued. It bottomed in late 2000 and has never looked back.

Yahoo trades at an even loftier price-to-earnings ratio of 113, and Amazon has no PE ratio because it had a trailing loss. At three times sales, Amazon trades far above the one times sales that retail stocks usually command, including Wal-Mart , the company Amazon aspired to emulate.

It’s been a great ride, but don’t forget where the ‘sell’ button is.

The market sagged Tuesday on terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, a wider than expected trade deficit, and disappointing results from Wal-Mart.

The Nasdaq slipped 1 to 1539, the S&P 500 declined 2 to 942, and the Dow lost 47 to 8679. Volume rose to 1.38 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.86 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a few issues on the NYSE, while advancers led 16-15 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 39% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 206-7 on the NYSE, and 189-6 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Applied Materials and Network Appliance declined on results that weren’t as strong as investors had hoped. Computer Sciences and Sycamore also reported in-line results.

During the day, Avanex soared 146% on news that it plans to acquire optical component assets from Corning and Alcatel on favorable terms.

IBM climbed 1% to a new 52-week high after launching a new mainframe. Big Blue is the first Dow stock to hit a new 52-week high since Eastman Kodak and 3M broke out only to be sold off. IBM is now right at a big gap down from April 2002; see the Technical Analysis at InternetStockReport.com.

Dell hit another 52-week high ahead of its earnings report on Thursday.

The IPO of iPayment gave back 3%. The first Internet IPO of the year was dogged by an analyst controversy on the new and improved Wall Street.

Register.com rose 1.7% after beating estimates. eSpeed and CNT fell 8-10% after coming in light on revenues.

AMD rose 1% after unveiling a new processor.

Broadcom rose 2.5% on a positive analyst meeting.

Verizon slipped 0.3% on a bold push into WiFi.

Gateway lost ground despite winning a Grid computing customer.

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