Internets Continue Recovery

Internet and technology shares were rebounding solidly in midday trading Tuesday as bargain hunters moved in following economic stats showing recent interest rate increases have yet to slow down the nation’s economy. The news comes as earnings continue to roll in from Internet firms.

At 1 p.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had jumped 37.63, or 5.68 percent, to 700.42, the Nasdaq Composite had vaulted 126.81 to 3,609.29 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 92.14 to 10,998.24.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday expectations for the U.S. economy over the next six months rose to 108.2 in April, the first increase since January. Also, home sales rose 1.5 percent in February to annualized rate of 4.83 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Stocks in the news included Inc. (HOMS), down 2-7/8 to 18-7/8. The company said Tuesday it had received a request from the Justice Department’s antitrust division to provide information about its Internet realty business. The firm said the government made no allegations of any legal violations.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was up 2-3/16 to 68-13/16. The Justice Department is preparing to brief White House officials to discuss remedies in the government’s antitrust case. The government must present its recommended remedies to U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson by Friday.

Performing especially strong were several e-finance companies. E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) was up 3/8 to 20-7/16. Company CEO Christos Cotsakos said Tuesday revenues are on pace to exceed $1 billion this year.

LendingTree Inc.(TREE) was up 1/2 to 5-1/4 and S1 Corp. (SONE) had jumped 7-1/16 to 46-1/8. Warburg Dillon Read’s Diane Glossman initiated coverage of both companies with a “strong buy.”

E-Loan Inc. (EELN) had soared 3-1/4 to 7-5/16. The online lender received $40 million in investments from Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH) and Abbey National Plc.

Diamond Technology Partners Inc. (DTPI) had jumped 13-3/16 to 69-3/4. The Internet consultant’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings came in at 19 cents a share, 2 cents better than expected.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) was off 3-1/2 to 72-3/8. The company, which optimizes Internet content, reported a first-quarter loss of 44 cents, 4 cents higher than expected.

Reporting later Tuesday will be eBay Inc. (EBAY), whose shares were up 1-1/4 to 143-1/8. The online auctioneer is expected to lose 36 cents compared to a 12-cent loss a year ago.

On Wednesday, Inc. (AMZN) will report. The online retailer is expected to lose 36 cents in the fourth quarter compared to 12 cents a year ago.

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