Internet Stocks Struggle to Stay Above Water

Internet shares were barely in positive territory in midday trading Tuesday as a stronger-than-expected August retail sales report renewed fears of higher interest rates, sending blue chips tumbling.

internet.com’s Internet Stock Index was up .98, or .20 percent, to 496.51, the Nasdaq Composite was off 4.89 to 2,839.88 and the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 126.33 to 10,904.00

Movers included AskJeeves (ASKJ), up 3-1/8 to 37-5/8. Office Depot and Williams-Sonoma will use AskJeeves technology to enhance customer support.

1-800-Flowers (FLWS) had climbed 1 to 17-5/16. The company Tuesday signed a four-year, $37 million marketing deal with America Online Inc. (AOL) AOL was down 13/16 to 89-5/16.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette’s Jamie Kiggen Tuesday raised his September subscriber estimates for AOL to 975,000 from 900,000.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was off 1/16 to 44. The company formed a $50 million joint venture with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. to provide Web portal sites in 10 Asian countries.

[email protected] (ATHM) climbed 1-1/8 to 38-7/8. BancBoston Robertson Stephens’ Michael Graham told clients the stock is attractive at current levels.

Decliners included Hoovers Inc. (HOOV) which was off 2-9/16 to 14-5/16. The comapny Tuesday launched a redesigned Web site.

China.com Corp. (CHINA) had tumbled 9-13/16 to 66-15/16 and TheStreet.com Inc. (TSCM) was off 3-1/16 to 22-5/8. Both stocks posted big gains on Monday.


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