Infoseek Surges On News of Disney Talks

Shares of Infoseek Corp. were surging in midday trading after Walt Disney Co. confirmed it is in talks to buy the 57 percent of the search engine it doesn’t already own.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 3.06, or .60 percent, to 514.85, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 70.29 to 10,839.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.90 to 2,526.11

Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) shares had jumped 6-15/16 to 49-15/16 after Disney said it might buy the remainder of the search engine. The remaining 57 percent of Infoseek is currently valued at $1.53 billion. Disney is considering creating a new class of stock that would track its Internet operations. Inc. (AMZN) was up 7/16 to 117-13/16 after trading as high as 121-3/8. Darek Brown, e-commerce analyst at Volpe Brown Whelan, said Tuesday Amazon was considering launching an online toy store. Amazon officials refused to comment on the report.

Amazon also Tuesday announced plans to offer free music downloads on its Web site.

Investors continued to drive down shares of @Home Corp. (ATHM) in the wake this week’s ruling that AT&T Corp., a major @Home shareholder, must open its cable network in Portland, Ore., to competitors. Shares had lost 4-1/8 to 99-5/8.

Internet incubator CMGI Inc. (CMGI) was up 3-1/2 to 110-3/4. Dell Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. this week bought stakes in NaviSite, CMGI’s Web services provider.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was up 3 to 95-1/4. The search engine Tuesday announced a distribution deal with Packard Bell NEC.

Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) shares had jumped 4-1/2 to 103. On Tuesday, Broadcom released the second version of its Very-High-Speed Digital Subscriber Line chip. Broadcom said the chip will allow manufacturers to accommodate all DSL flavors in one device. Inc. (PCLN) shares were up 6 to 107-1/2 following positive comments by CIBC Oppenheimer’s Henry Blodgett.

The day’s two IPOs were doing well. Medical Web site Inc. (KOOP) was up 5-3/16 to 14-3/16. The company sold 9.375 million shares at $9, raising $84.3 million.

Backweb Technologies Ltd. (BWEB) was up 8-3/16 to 20-3/16. The company, which provides infrastructure that allows businesses to “push” information over the Internet sold 5.5 million shares at $12 each, raising $66 million.

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