Microsoft Speculation Fuels Nasdaq

Technology issues were moving past Internet shares in midday trading, due in large part to several reports that Microsoft Corp. may soon announcement a settlement in its antitrust case.

At noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had gained 6.76, or .63 percent, to 1,071.53, the Nasdaq Composite was up 57.21 to 4,921.96 and the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 74.77 to 10,941.47.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) had jumped 7-1/16 to 110-5/16. The Wall Street Journal Thursday reported the software giant, which was recently added to the Dow 30, is making new inroads in ongoing discussions with lawyers representing the Justice Department and 19 states. The report said the current talks center around placing new restrictions on Microsoft’s business practices and not on forcing the company to break up its assets. Inc. (PPRO) had climbed 5-11/32 to 127-3/8. The electronic commerce firm is predicting revenue will exceed first-quarter forecasts.

Another firm releasing positive earnings news was L90 Inc. (LNTY), which was up 2-5/8 to 21-5/8. The Internet ad firm also expects its first quarter revenues to exceed analyst estimates.

Cobalt Networks (COBT) was up 1 to 61-3/4. The company purchase Chili! Soft Inc. for about $70 million in stock. Chili!Soft markets tools allowing Active Server Pages to run on Unix and Linux machines.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had gained 1-9/16 to 198-3/4. The portal Thursday acquired e-billing firm in a deal that will allow individuals to exchange money electronically and pay bills online.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) had added 4-1/8 to 72-1/2. The company Wednesday took its European operations public on Germany’s Neuer Markt, raising $649 million. Lycos Europe was worth more than $5 billion at the end of its first day of trading.

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