Investors Breathe Sigh of Relief

After starting the session in negative territory, stocks were mounting a turnaround in mid-session Wednesday after word surfaced that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan would not be discussing interest rates during a speech that started around noon.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 2.20, or .44 percent, to 502.23, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 8.34 to 2,845.60 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 36.09 to 11,070.22.

Among the leaders on the upside, DoubleClick Inc. (DCLK) had moved up 1-1/16 to 98-1/16, eBay Inc. (EBAY) had gained 3-3/16 to 137 and CNET Inc. (CNET) was up 9/16 to 41.

One of the strongest decliners was Inc. (PCLN), down 2-1/16 to 65-3/4. Shares were falling amid reports that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will soon announce its own “name-your-price” travel service.

A variety of deals and partnerships were in the news, including two from nationwide Internet providers. Shares of Concentric Network Corp. (CNCX) were up 7/16 to 23-3/16. The company Wednesday purchased UK Internet provider Internet Technology Group PLC for $215 million.

Prodigy Communications (PRGY) had tumbled 1/4 to 16-7/8. Prodigy Wednesday purchased BizOnThe.Net for $100 million in stock and cash. The company provides Web hosting services to small businesses.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was up 3/16 to 43-13/16. Lycos Wednesday purchased financial information provider Inc. for $78.3 million in cash.

Liquid Audio (LQID) had jumped 2-3/8 to 33-3/8. The company Wednesday teamed with The Hollywood Reporter to showcase original music online.

Verio Inc. (VRIO) had slumped 1/4 to 34-1/4. Verio unveiled two new Web hosting systems based on Microsoft’s Windows NT. Inc. (MCNS) had jumped 1-3/16 to 9-7/16. The company, which provides health information on the Internet, late Tuesday purchased Physicians’ Online Inc. for $180 million in cash and stock.

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