Nets Open Lower, Finish Higher

Markets fought a see-saw battle through most of the trading day before
rocketing higher by late-afternoon. On the news of UAL’s takeover bid of US Airways , airlines buoyed
the NYSE 113.08 to 10,535.35.


Technology stocks and Internets finally caught some mild relief after
constant selling pressure earlier this week. The Nasdaq bounced up 106.06
to 3,270.61, on the heaviest volume seen in over a month, while the ISDEX
leapt 3.21%.


Web surfers have a need for speed and Intel
boosted gains on the Nasdaq, climbing 7-1/2 to 117-3/8, after the chipmaker
unveiled its latest 933 MHz Pentium III processor. With chip performance
doubling every 18 months, consumers can expect the first gigahertz
processor to hit stores by year’s end.


Intel also announced an alliance with RealNetworks , and shares of the multimedia player jumped 2-3/4 to 34-15/16.
RealNetworks has inked a deal to develop Web video technology for Intel’s
next generation streaming media software


Shares of America Online dipped below key support
levels in early morning trade, before bouncing back to close up 1-7/8 to
51-3/8. Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget scrambled to ease investors’
indigestion over the Internet service provider’s pending merger with
offline Time Warner .


VA Linux added 3 to 41-1/2 after the open source
concern reported a better-than-anticipated Q3 loss of $0.13 per share,
compared with a $0.17 loss a year-ago-same-period. The latest results were
a dime better than Wall Street consensus expectations.


Web brokerage stocks were swooning on analyst downgrades spurred by
softening volume numbers released earlier this week. Discount broker giant
Charles Schwab shed 2-15/16 to 38-1/16.
E*Trade sank 1-13/16 to 13-15/16 to a new
52-week low, while Ameritrade joined its rival
at its 52-week low, down 9/16 to 11-3/16.


Shares of Ebookers.com soared 2 to 11-1/2
following news of an alliance with France Telecom .
Under the terms of the deal, the cyber-Brit travel agency will gain access
to French Telecom’s broad ISP user base.


Bellwethers dragged the Net patch higher today. Investors were furiously
bidding up shares of eBay 13-15/16 to 129-15/16.
A 2-for-1 stock split will take effect after the bell today for the online
auctioneer. Yahoo! also headed higher, up 4-7/16
to 122-3/4, after the online media company fell victim to profit-taking
yesterday, while online e-tailer Amazon.com
edged 1-7/8 to 48-9/16.

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