Nets Post Another Afternoon Rally

Internet stocks surged ahead Thursday, gaining steam in the afternoon on the strength of several positive earnings reports.’s Internet Stock Index had jumped 38.35, or 5.4 percent, to 748.63, the Nasdaq Composite soared 143.96 to 3,774.05 and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 57.40 to 10,888.10.

Dragging down the Dow was a higher-than-expected rise in the Employment Cost Index, as companies reported labor costs had reached levels not seen in 10 years.

One of the biggest Internet advancers was Macromedia (MACR), vaulted 17-1/2 to 78-3/4. The maker of multimedia software reported pro-forma earnings of 22 cents a share in the fourth quarter, 6 cents better than expected. Inc. (AMZN) lost 5/8 to 52-7/8. The e-tail giant late Wednesday reported a first-quarter loss of 90 cents a share compared to a loss of 20 cents a year ago.

Prudential Securities’ Mark Rowen upgraded the stock to “strong buy” from “hold,” trimming his 2000 loss estimates by a penny to $1.24. He also lowered his 2001 loss projections to 58 cents from 80.

Checkfree Holdings (CKFR) jumped 14-13/16 to 54-3/8 on news Bank of America will buy a 16 percent stake in the electronic-billing and payment-services company as part of a 10-year agreement to bring CheckFree’s services to its customers. Inc. (INSP) climbed 7-61/64 to 72 after the Internet content company reported quarterly earnings of a penny, excluding one-time items. That was a nickel better than expected. Inc. (SWCM) jumped 8 to 75. The e-mail provider reported earnings of 4 cents in its latest quarter, 2 cents better than expected.

Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) gained 7-5/8 to 40. The e-commerce applications company late Wednesday reported a first-quarter income of 4 cents a share, 2 cents better than estimates. Also, Legg Mason Wood Walker raised the stock to “buy” from “outperform.”

Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) jumped 20-9/16 to 135-15/16. The domain registrar reported a first-quarter profit of 20 cents a share, 6 cents better than expected.

VerticalNet (VERT) gained 5-7/16 to 51-7/16 The company posted a first-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, 9 cents better than expected. (TSCM) closed up 3/16 to 6-1/4. The online financial publisher Thursday purchased BiGFiSH Management Inc., a producer of converences. The company plans to create a series of investment conferences using brand.

BackWeb Technologies (BWEB) lost 1-1/8 to 18-7/16. The company posted a first-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, a penny better than expected. Corp. (BYND) tumbled 9/32 to 2-7/32. The online software retailer reported a first-quarter loss of 55 cents

a share, 9 cents higher than expected.

Etoys Inc. (ETYS) plunged 2-3/8 to 7-1/8 on word the online retailer lost 40 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter, up from 15 cents a year ago.

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