Job Data Can’t Stop Stock Climb

Internet and technology stocks rose across the board Friday as buyers shrugged off the possibility that higher interest rates may be in the offing following a stronger-than-expected employment report.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had jumped 16.27, or 2.22 percent, to 748.39, the Nasdaq Composite was up 82.68 to 3,802.92 and the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 149.78 to 10,562.27.

The Labor Department reported Friday the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April, slightly below the 4 percent economists had forecast. The nation’s economy added 267,000 non-farm jobs in the month, excluding 73,000 temporary workers hired by the Census Bureau.

Movers included Websense was up 2-15/16 to 29. The company, whose software allows corporations to monitor employee Internet usage, is teaming with Cisco Systems to incorporate its software in Cisco hardware.

Cisco Systems Inc. was up 3-1/8 to 66-3/4. The networking company Friday acquired ArrowPoint Communications for about $5.7 billion in stock.

Netcentives Inc. had jumped 3-1/8 to 17-3/8. The Internet marketer announced America Online Inc. , Citigroup Inc. , American Express Co. and CMGI Inc. were combining to take a 5 percent stake in the firm.

CDNow Inc. gained 5/32 to 4-1/32. According to a recent SEC filing, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu bought a 9.2 percent stake in the company for $52.8 million.

Losers included SoftNet Systems , which tumbled 2-1/2 to 13-1/16. The broadband Internet services provider reported a loss of 66 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter, 7 cents higher than analysts were expecting. The fall came despite a 65 percent increase in sales due to higher-than-expected subscriber signups for the company’s cable Internet business.

P-Com Inc. had plunged 2-1/2 to 9. The maker of equipment to facilitate high-speed wireless Internet connections reported a first-quarter operating loss of 18 cents, 14 cents higher than expected.

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