‘Net Tickers Lead Market Gains

After stumbling out of the starting gate Wednesday, the stock market launched a daylong ascent that saw the Dow Jones climb over the 11,000 mark for the first time in eight months.

The Dow finished trading at 11215.92, a gain of 342.95, or 3.15%. The Nasdaq fared even better, rising 80.86, or 3.88%, to close at 2166.44, while the S&P 500 advanced 35.54, or 2.84%, to 1284.98.

The biggest gainers of the day, however, were Internet stocks, as internet.com’s Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, soared 16.04, or 6.46%, to 264.47.

The market’s impressive gains may have been due to a mix of delayed investor enthusiasm for the Fed’s half-point interest-rate cut on Tuesday and a smaller-than-expected rise in the Consumer Price Index on Wednesday. The reduction in short-term interest rates was the fifth this year.

Eight of 13 Internet sectors tracked by WSRN and the Internet Stock Report showed more gainers than losers. For a look at sector breakdowns, visit www.wsrn.com/apps/internetstocks.

Among the top ticker performers Wednesday was streaming multimedia software provider RealNetworks , which gained 41.1% to $12.42 per share on news that Sony and Nokia said they would bundle RNWK’s software into their respective consumer electronics devices. It was RNWK’s highest closing price since mid-December. Since closing at $5.03 on March 13, RealNetworks’ is up 147%.

Payment and billing software vendor Bottomline Technologies closed above $4 per share for the first time in a month, finishing trading Wednesday at $5.20, an increase of 42.9%. There was no visible catalyst, unless investors just heard the news from Friday that EPAY has won the 2001 New Hampshire Business of the Year Award.

Internet banking software provider S1 Corp. rose 25% to $12.04 after announcing the release of a new version of its software for community and regional financing institutions.

Openwave Systems climbed 19.7% to $37.37 in the wake of news that Telecom Mobile Limited, New Zealand’s leading wireless network operator, had chosen OPWV and Lucent to provide Wireless Internet Protocol-based mobile Internet software and services.

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