Net Stocks Jump 2 Percent

Wall Street was hosting a broad-based Internet rally Thursday as investors were flocking back to sector leaders that have been battered in recent sessions.

At 11:30 a.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index was up 25.18, or 2.35 percent, to 1,094.85, the Nasdaq Composite was up 42.83 to 4,940.09 and the Dow Jones industrial average had lost 7.29 to 9,849.24

Climbers included VerticalNet (VERT), jumping 32-7/16 to 285-15/16, Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL), gaining 36-7/8 to 460-5/16, Healtheon/WebMD (HLTH), adding 3-5/16 to 45-1/16 and Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) was up 10-1/2 to 115-1/4.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was up 5 to 59-7/8 and AT&T Corp. (T) was off 3/8 to 52-5/8. Bloomberg reported Thursday the two companies are in partnership talks.

Also, CS First Boston’s Lise Buyer reiterated her “strong buy” on AOL, saying the fundamentals of the company remain “very strong.”

CMGI Inc. (CMGI) was up 3-1/16 to 141-9/16. The Internet incubator is among those reporting earnings Thursday. Analysts are forecasting a $1.28 loss compared to a 7-cent loss a year ago. (GOTO) was off 23/32 to 49-25/32. The search company Thursday purchased auction listing aggregator Inc. for about $175 million in stock.

Covad Communications (COVD) was up 3-11/16 to 93-15/16. The DSL Internet provider Thursday purchased for $387 million in stock. LaserLink provides branded broadband solutions to corporate customers.

NaviSite (NAVI) had jumped 33-1/4 to 299-1/4. The application service provider Thursday announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Redback Networks (RBAK) had gained 19-5/16 to 347. The company Thursday completed its acquisition of Siara Systems and set a 2-for-1 stock split effective April 3.

24/7 Media (TFSM) was up 3 to 58-1/8. The Internet ad company late Wednesday reported a quarterly loss of 58 cents, substantially beating forecasts calling for a 72-cent loss.

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