Internet Investors Cheer Friday Comeback

Internet investors finally had something to cheer about Friday as stocks ended higher across the board thanks to a wave of buying following steep sell-offs earlier in the week.’s Internet Stock Index rose 1.66, or .34 percent, to 495.39, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 62.91 to 2,869.63 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 66.17 to 10,803.63.

Shares of online auction leader eBay Inc. ended off significantly in midday trading Friday, taking it on the chin after a group of technology leaders announced they were forming a competing auction network.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) lost 10-3/4 to close at 141 after Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Dell Computer Corp. (DELL), Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and [email protected] Corp. (ATHM) announced plans to create an online auction service.

Microsoft gained 2-7/16 to 96-7/16, [email protected] climbed 1-1/16 to 38-7/16, Lycos closed up 1-7/16 to 44-7/16 and Dell gained 2-1/8 to 48-7/8.

The auctions will be run by privately-held Fair Market Inc. Details of the network will be unveiled on Monday.

Other sector leaders ended solidly higher as investors were coming back into the sector on this “triple-witching” Friday when options and futures contracts expire.

Ariba (ARBA) gained 8 to 131-3/8, Broadvision Corp. (BVSN) climbed 10-7/8 to 116-3/4, DoubleClick Inc. (DCLK) moved up 7-5/8 to 116-1/4, Exodus Communications (EXDS) climbed 3-1/16 to 75-5/16, Inc. (PCLN) added 1-1/8 to 58-1/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) lost 5/16 to 163-1/8.

Inktomi Corp. (INKT) climbed 2-9/16 to 131-3/16, continuing to benefit from its $106 million acquisition of WebSpective Software.

MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (MSPG) gained 1/4 to 27-1/8, EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) lost 1-3/16 to 40-1/8 and PSINet Inc. (PSIX) added 5/8 to 40-11/16.

A report released this week by Wit Capital predicted independent Internet providers will come under increasing pressure due to competition from free ISPs.

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