Investors Applaud CMGI-AltaVista Deal

Shares of CMGI Inc. had climbed almost 9 percent by midday Tuesday after the company inked a deal to take control of AltaVista from Compaq Computer Corp.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 10.16 to 515.80, the Nasdaq Composite was up 11.12 to 2,613.56 and the Dow Jones industrial average had added 29.44 to 10,684.59.

CMGI (CMGI) was up 8-3/4 to 106-7/16. The company announced Tuesday it was paying $2.3 billion in stock for an 83 percent stake in AltaVista. Compaq will retain a 17 percent stake which will make it AltaVista’s second-largest shareholder.

National Discount Broker Group Inc. (NDB) was up 5-1/4 to 41-1/4 after Jim Marks of Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown initiated coverage with a “strong buy.”

That led others in the sector higher. Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) was up 3-3/4 to 87-1/4, E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) up 1-1/8 to 39 and DLJdirect (DIR) up 3/8 to 26-13/16.

Online investment bank Wit Capital (WITC) jumped another 8 to 35-1/16. Wit shares have been on an incredible tear over the past week, in part because Wit was allocated a portion of Juniper Networks, last week’s hot Internet IPO.

The sector’s leaders were mixed with America Online Inc. (AOL) up 1-13/16 to 105-5/8, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) up 2 to 158-1/2 and Inc. (AMZN) climbing 6-3/4 to 117-7/16.

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