Investors Still Love MP3

The buzz around MP3 audio continued Monday as a variety of deals in that arena was helping to drive Internet stocks higher.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index had vaulted 13.65, or 3.03 percent, to 464.55, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 22.29 to 2,660.10 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 16.15 to 10,989.80.

Strong gainers included Audible Inc. (ADBL) up 3-3/16 to 13-7/8. Audible Monday reached a deal with Microsoft Corp. to make its audio content available in the Windows Media Player format. Inc. (EMUS) had added 2-11/16 to 17-13/16. EMusic, which sells downloadable music over the Internet, teamed with America Online to offer music on its service.

In return, AOL will receive an unspecified number of warrants in EMusic and will receive a share of the transaction revenue. (MPPP) had climbed 1-1/2 to 37-1/8. Credit Suisse First Boston’s Lise Buyer and Hambrecht & Quist’s Dan Rimer initiated coverage of with “buy” ratings.

Hoovers Inc. (HOOV) jumped 2-5/16 to 14-11/16. The company, which publishes company information on the Internet, was rated a “buy” by J.P. Morgan’s Susan Walker White who initiated coverage Monday.

The sector’s leaders were generally quiet, with America Online Inc. (AOL) up 5/16 to 97-3/16, Inc. (AMZN) up 2-1/2 to 99-15/16, eBay Inc. (EBAY) jumping 8-5/16 to 106-5/16 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had climbed 1-3/16 to 134.

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