Internets Still Under Pressure

It was more red ink for Internet stocks in midday trading Thursday as the sector continued to come under pressure from investors taking profits from the record-setting pace that dominated just last week.

At noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index was off 20.19, or 2.43 percent, to 811.70 and the Nasdaq Composite had plunged another 79.16 to 3,798.38. Blue chips continued their recovery, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 91.83 to 11,214.48.

The leaders responsible for the sector’s recent run-up were taking it on the chin Thursday. Net stocks solidly in the red included Ariba Inc. (ARBA), off 9-3/8 to 163, Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) was off 11-3/8 to 148-1/2, Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) had fallen 11 to 217, Exodus Communications (EXDS) had tumbled 3-3/8 to 86-9/16 and Inc. (GOTO) was off 3-5/16 to 70-3/16.

Also in the red were Lycos Inc. (LCOS), down 5-1/8 to 66-1/4, Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) had fallen 3-17/64 to 114-55/64, Starmedia Network Inc. (STRM) was down 3-3/4 to 35-3/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had fallen 18 to 392-1/2.

One of the biggest gainers was Cobalt Group Inc. (CBLT), soaring 13-1/2 to 24. The company, which provides e-commerce services for auto dealers, unveiled plans to launch a B2B dealer Web site. Inc. (TIXX) had risen 2-7/8 to 16-15/16. The ticket retailer sealed pacts with 400 worldwide venues to sell tickets and provide event information for the destinations on the Internet. Corp. (BYND) was down 29/32 to 6-5/8. The Internet software retailer Wednesday warned it expects a fourth-quarter loss between 65 and 68 cents. Revenues will also fall below estimates. Inc. (BNBN) was up 2-1/8 to 16-5/16. The online book retailer reported sales of $81.5 million in the fourth quarter — triple last year’s numbers. For the year, sales were also up more than 300 percent to $200 million.

American depositary receipts of Freeserve PLC (FREE) were down 3-7/8 to 78-5/8. The U.K. Internet provider said subscriber losses have subsided.

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