Internet Stocks Off to Slow Start

Most of the leading Internet stocks were trading in negative territory at midday Tuesday as investors continued to cash out leaders in a session marked by relatively thin volume.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had fallen 2.10, or .32 percent, to 648.10, the Nasdaq Composite was off 22.93 to 3,341.78 and the Dow Jones industrial average had lost 4.80 to 10,537.75.

A few leaders were responsible for much of the ISDEX’s small loss. In the red were Inc. , off 2-1/16 to 49-13/16, Ariba Inc. , down 3-5/16 to 57-1/2, Inktomi Corp. , falling 5 to 113-1/16, Inc. , down 1-15/16 to 42-1/2 and Vignette Corp. had lost 2-3/8 to 32-1/2.

Verisign Inc. was up 2-1/2 to 120-3/8. US Bancorp Tuesday picked the company’s software to secure its business-to-business e-mail.

Doubleclick Network Inc. was off 7/16 to 56-1/2. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission recommended Congress pass legislation to ensure the privacy of online consumers. The FTC concluded self-regulation would be insufficient to protect personal information and boost the confidence necessary for e-commerce to grow. However, in a research note, CS First Boston said Doubleclick’s policies were “consistent with the best possible practices.” The firm went on to say the stock is attractive over the long term.

RealNetworks Inc. was up 5/8 to 36-15/16. The streaming media company will hold a meeting with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday. The company will also kick of its Real Conference 2000. was off 1/4 to 14-1/2. Disney’s Internet unit Tuesday unveiled, a new entertainment portal. The move comes just days after, the online toy store in which Disney held a controlling stake, shut down.

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