Internets Enjoy Good Day As Nasdaq Continues Torrid Pace

A number of deals and ratings upgrades was sending Internet shares higher in midday trading Thursday as technology shares continued their upward climb further into record territory.

At noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had gained 7.83, or 1.37 percent, to 579.99, the Nasdaq Composite was up 24.65 to 3,053.16 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 61.17 to 10,670.23.

Sector leaders were mostly higher, with America Online Inc. (AOL) up 3-13/16 to 142-13/16. Jamie Kiggen of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette reiterated AOL as his top pick.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) had gained 3-1/16 to 130-1/8 after Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. initiated coverage with a “buy” and set a $180 price target. Also, eBay executives recently filed to sell $243 million in stock.

Among other leaders, the screamer was Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) up 10-3/4 to 135-1/2. The rise comes as its domain registration competitors are trying to persuade the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers to modify the agreement laying out competition principles.

Other gainers included E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP), up 2-3/4 to 28-15/16, iVillage (IVIL) adding 2-11/16 to 26-1/8 and Exodus Communications (EXDS) adding 1-7/8 to 82-1/2.

Critical Path (CPTH) had jumped 6-1/4 to 57-3/4. In its second acquisition this week, the Internet messaging company bought The DocSpace Co. The DocSpace provides Web-based file storage and collaboration.

Vignette Corp. (VIGN) had gained 12-3/4 to 185-3/4. The company announced a 2-for-1 stock split effective Nov. 15.

Scient Corp. (SCNT) was up 6-31/32 to 133-13/32. The Web consulting firm also announced a 2-for-1 stock split effective Dec. 3.

Covad (COVD) was up 11/16 to 44-7/8 and Northpoint Communications (NPNT) had gained 2-11/16 to 28-3/4. The Digital Subscriber Line providers Thursday reached deals with Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) that will make Yahoo! the portal for their broadband services.

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