Internets Send Nasdaq Soaring

Announcements of several pending stock splits together with bullish analyst recommendations were sending Internet stocks climbing in midday trading as the Nasdaq continued its record march.

Just after noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had jumped 11.98, or 1.81 percent, to 675.03, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 40.86 to 3,310.25 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 150.47 to 11,033.55.

A number of stocks were participating in the broad-based rally, including Commerce One (CMRC) up 22 to 332. The e-commerce solutions provider late Wednesday announced a 3-for-1 stock split that will take effect Dec. 23.

A split announcement was also helping Ariba Inc. (ARBA) gain 4-1/2 to 209-1/2. The e-commerce services provider will split its stock 2-for-1. Corp. (INTM) had soared 16-7/8 to 50-7/8. The publisher of this Web site Thursday announced a deal with Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) to provide news for its Asian, Singapore and Hong Kong portals.

For its part, Yahoo! was up 3 to 209-3/16 after First Union initiated coverage with a “strong buy” and set a $240 price target. Inc. (SALN) jumped 1-1/2 to 8-1/8. The Web publisher Thursday unveiled plans for a customized audio entertainment service.

AskJeeves Inc. (ASKJ) was up 10-13/16 to 181-13/16. The search engine was rated a “strong buy” by First Union Securities which initiated coverage Thursday. Analyst Carolyn Trabuco set a $230, 12-month price target.

Internet incubator CMGI Inc. (CMGI) was up 5-1/2 to 130-1/8. Thursday’s gain follows a leap of 21 on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with an “outperform” rating.

Exodus Communications (EXDS) gained 3-3/4 to 107-1/4 after Friedman Billings Ramsey initiated coverage with a “buy” rating, setting a $140 target. (GO) was off 2-5/8 to 34-7/8. Paine Webber initiated coverage Thursday with a “buy” rating and set a $48 price target.

Finally, (MLTX) had gained 3-3/4 to 26-1/2. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray came out with several positive comments on the provider of investment research.

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