ISDEX Continues to Defy Broader Markets

Upgrades for several Internet leaders were helping send the sector higher in midday trading Wednesday as the ISDEX continued to break apart from the major indices. Observers say investors appear to be waiting until a new batch of economic news is released next week before putting money back into the market.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 5.20, or 1.07 percent, to 497.98, the Nasdaq Composite had fallen 12.83 to 2,808.27 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 82.00 to 10,516.47.

Climbers included DoubleClick (DCLK) which was up 3-3/8 to 111-7/8. Banc of America Securities initiated coverage Wednesday with a “buy” rating. The firm set a $140 price target. Corp. (PCLN) climbed 4-29/32 to 71-3/4. Shares continued to benefit from Tuesday’s announcement that Priceline’s “name your price” concept will be extended to groceries.

Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) jumped 7-5/8 to 111-3/4 after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to a “strong buy” from a “buy” and set a $150 price target.

Other strong gainers included America Online Inc. (AOL) up 3-1/4 to 88-1/8, Ariba Inc. (ARBA) jumped 7-1/16 to 140-1/4, Broadvision Corp. (BVSN) up 11-11/16 to 133, Exodus Communications (EXDS) was up 3 to 76 and Inktomi Corp. (INKT) had gained 3 to 132-1/4.

One of the day’s biggest losers was Bottomline Technologies (EPAY) which had plunged 8-7/16 to 16-9/16. The Internet bill payment firm warned Wednesday it will post a loss of up to 10 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter. Analysts had been forecasting an 8-cent profit.

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