Inflation Worries Continue to Hurt Internets

Shares of Internet companies lost more ground Monday as fears of rising interest rates continue to drive investors from the sector.’s Internet Stock Index lost 40.24, or 7.31 percent, to 510.55, the Nasdaq Composite fell 66.50 to 2,453.64 and the Dow Jones industrial average shed 174.61 to 10,654.67. Inc. (AMZN) lost 11-1/16 to 117-1/2. Airline titan Richard Branson is reportedly launching his own Internet book site that England’s Guardian newspaper said will have a larger selection than Amazon.

Most of the other Internet issues were losers as well. America Online Inc. (AOL) dropped 7 to 119-7/8, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) lost 13-7/16 to 137-7/8 and @Home Networks (ATHM) tanked 14-9/16 to 115-7/16.

Other notable decliners included (XMCM) lost 8-3/4 to 53-1/2, Broadcom Corp. shed 4-3/4 to 102-1/4, Go2Net (GNET) plunged 14-9/16 to 100-3/8 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) dropped 13-3/16 to 124.

Online ad company DoubleClick (DCLK) lost 9-5/8 to 97-7/8. The company Monday announced a new program which allows electronic commerce players to better target specific demographic segments. The company also plans to launch a new product Wednesday in conjunction with Infospace (INSP) that helps consumers locate products from both online and offline merchants. Infospace shares lost 3-1/2 to 49. Inc. (PCLN) plunged 13-19/32 to 125-11/32. The stock posted gains of 3.9 percent last week after Jamie Kiggen, Internet analyst at Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, initiated coverage of the company with a “buy” rating. Kiggen expects the stock to hit 190 over the next 12 months.

Concentric Network Corp. (CNCX) plunged 6-5/8 to 30-3/8. A Silicon Valley newspaper ranked the company 19th in a list of 1998’s fastest-growing Valley companies.

EToys, one of last week’s strong IPOs, continues to lose ground and shed 11-1/2 to 57. That loss is on top of a 11 percent drop on Friday.

Also on the IPO front, Healtheon (HLTH), another of last week’s hot issues, plunged 13-3/4 to 91-1/2 after trading as high as 108 earlier in the day.

Spyglass Inc. (SPYG), which makes Internet software for non-PC devices, gained 1-1/4 to 20-5/8 after announcing it will provide software for IBM Corp.’s digital set-top boxes.

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