Internet Stocks Break Away from Broader Markets

While most of the major stock indices were falling despite a tame inflation report, a variety of deals were helping Internet stocks stay above water in midday trading.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 5.40, or 1.17 percent, to 466.66, the Dow Jones industrial average had shed 7.28 to 11,039.51 and the Nasdaq Composite had sank 6.24 to 2,639.04.

Stocks surged early after the government said the consumer price index rose 0.3 percent in July — the first time the index had climbed since April. The core rate, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent which was in line with economists’ forecasts.

One of the sector’s biggest gainers was Inc. (SWCM) which jumped 4-7/8 to 35-1/8. The company, which supplies e-mail systems to Internet providers, said Sprint PCS had licensed its InterMail software for its wireless messaging service.

[email protected] (ATHM) had rose 1/2 to 38-9/16. [email protected] and several others Tuesday invested $85 million in, an online ticket agency hoping to challenge Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, the leader in the market. Ticketmaster (TMCS) was unchanged at 28-3/8.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was off 1 to 93-15/16. The company Tuesday announced its membership had passed 18 million.

Among the other leaders, Inc. (AMZN) had climbed 3-11/16 to 102, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) added 3/4 to 82-7/8 and iVillage (IVIL) had vaulted 6 to 50-1/4.

E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) was up 1-1/4 to 28-1/8. The company Tuesday sealed a deal with Reuters PLC’s Instinet to offer after-hours trading to its customers.

Elsewhere in the sector, National Discount Brokers Group Inc. (NDB) was up 7/16 to 32-15/16, DLJdirect (DIR) was unchanged at 19-1/2 and Southwest Securities (SWS), parent of had risen 5/8 to 36-1/4.

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