Internet Issues Up Slightly In Mixed Market

Internet issues had posted a small gain by midday Wednesday, although the group couldn’t match gains by the broader Nasdaq index which was being helped by moves in the chip sector.

Just after midday,’s Internet Stock Index was up 3.93, or .79 percent, to 502.11, the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.10 to 2,500.66 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 65.22 to 10,700.42.

The sector’s leaders were in positive territory Wednesday, benefitting from positive comments by Scott Ehrens, Internet analyst at Bear Stearns. Ehrens said given the sector’s 25 percent decline in the quarter, his firm is urging investors to stick with famous names, including Yahoo! Inc. and America Online Inc.

AOL (AOL) was unchanged at 110-3/8, although Yahoo! (YHOO) was up 3-1/2 to 146-13/16. Yahoo! was also benefitting from a positive reception at a Deutsche Banc Alex Brown’s conference. The company told investors overseas revenue will climb to more than 10 percent of total revenues by the end of this year.

Shares of Inc. (ABTL) were up 2-7/8 to 21-5/8. The company, which refers online car shoppers to dealerships, reached a deal with Yahoo! to offer vehicles on the Yahoo Autos section.

NextCard Inc. (NXCD) soared 7-1/2 to 44 after three analysts initiated coverage on the stock. Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette’s Jamie Kiggen started coverage with a “buy”, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray’s Stephen Franco rated the stock a “strong buy” and David Readerman of Thomas Weisel Partners rated shares a “buy.” Inc. (KOOP), Tuesday’s hot IPO, continued to climb. Shares were up 1-1/16 to 17-1/2 after almost doubling on their first day of trading.

Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) shares tumbled 1-13/16 to 46-13/16 after rising 34 percent over the past two days. Shares benefitted earlier this week after Walt Disney Co. confirmed it was in negotiations to buy the remaining 57 percent of the search engine it doesn’t own.

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