Leaders Lift ISDEX Despite Nasdaq, Dow Tumble

Internet stocks were moving in the opposite direction of blue chips and technology stocks in midday trading Friday thanks to better-than-expected earnings and analyst moves.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index had gained 1.92, or .20 percent, to 947.07, the Nasdaq Composite had lost 13.43 to 4,535.49 and the Dow Jones industrial average had shed 99.59 to 10,414.98.

Major indices were falling despite a report from the government that U.S. consumer prices climbed at a lower rate than expected in January. Clothing prices, which posted their sharpest decline in 11 years, offset higher costs for heating oil, gasoline and tobacco. The consumer price index climbed 0.2 percent last month while the core rate, which excludes food and energy costs, also posted a 0.2 rise.

Sector leaders were mostly in positive territory, including Ariba Inc. (ARBA) was up 8-9/32 to 234-15/32, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) had climbed 3-3/16 to 193-1/2, Checkpoint Software (CHKP) was up 5-3/4 to 195-3/4, CNET Inc. (CNET) had jumped 5-1/16 to 65-7/8 and Juniper Networks (JNPR) had vaulted 23-1/2 to 264-3/4.

Other strong gainers included Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL), gaining 8-3/8 to 312 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) up 4-31/32 to 228.

Inktomi Corp. (INKT) was up 5-1/8 to 126-1/4. Dain Rauscher Wessels initiated coverage Friday with a “strong buy,” setting a $190 price target.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD) had risen 30-3/4 to 274-3/8. The maker of networking equipment reported fiscal first quarter earnings of 12 cents a share. That beat analyst expectations by 4 cents.

Hoover’s Inc. (HOOV) was up 1-19/32 to 10-9/16. David Simons, managing director of Digital Video Investments, told Business Weekthe business information provider may be an acquisition target and is currently priced below its fair value.

In the losing column was Global Crossing Ltd. (GBLX), down 5-3/16 to 55-7/8. The fiber-optic network builder’s fourth-quarter loss more than tripled due to high network construction costs.

IXL Enterprises Inc. (IIXL) was off 4-3/8 to 35-5/8. The company was downgraded to “accumulate” from near-term “buy” by Merrill Lynch.

Sycamore Networks Inc. (SCMR) had slumped 7-3/8 to 115-1/8. The maker of fiber-optic network equipment plans to sell an additional 15 million shares to expand marketing efforts.

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