Negative Articles Send Nets Falling

Internet stocks were off almost 2 percent in midday trading Monday as a number of e-commerce plays were being dragged down by the cover story in this week’s Barron’s magazine.

At 11:45 a.m.,’s Internet Stock Index had fallen 17.57, or 1.70 percent, to 1,017.64, the Nasdaq Composite had lost 30.37 to 4,767.76 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 127.51 to 10,722.74.

Losers included CDNow (CDNW), off 7/8 to 5-7/8. Barron’s put the company on its list of Internet firms likely to run out of cash before year’s end. Barron’s reported the company has less than one month’s cash remaining. However, the company issued a statement disputing the report, saying it has enough cash to last at least six months.

Also lower was Inc. (PCLN), down 7-11/16 to 82-7/16. Barron’s reported the company may face a new roster of competitors, including the Hilton and Hyatt hotel chains which are reportedly considering launching a new booking site.

That report was also dragging down shares of Expedia (EXPE), off 1-3/4 to 22-7/8, and Travelocity (TVLY), falling 7/8 to 42-3/4.

Purchase Pro (PPRO) had tumbled 11-1/2 to 140-1/4 and America Online Inc. (AOL) had squeaked out a gain of 11/16, rising to 65-7/16. The two companies Monday teamed to support business-to-business transactions on the online service.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was off 2-1/4 to 168-7/8. The company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise its minimum number of outstanding shares to 900 million and as high as 5 billion.

Ariba Inc. (ARBA) had tumbled 3-3/8 to 262-13/16 and Neoforma (NEOF) had risen 2-1/4 to 31-7/16. The two companies announced plans to create a Web portal that would match buyers and sellers of medical equipment.

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