Online Travel Stocks Take Off

It’s been a good week for the online travel industry, with Priceline and Expedia soaring on strong earnings reports.

Priceline rocketed 26% Thursday after the company handily beat estimates and reported a 40% jump in travel bookings.

In its first full quarter since InterActiveCorp spun off its online travel holdings, Expedia jumped 10% Friday after reporting earnings and sales that beat Wall Street estimates. Revenues rose 16% from the year-ago quarter to $584.7 million.

Expedia Chairman Barry Diller said in a statement that the company “delivered solid bookings and profit growth in its foundational quarter as an independent public company.”

Both companies managed to post solid results despite disruption and soaring fuel prices from the worst hurricane season in decades and terrorist attacks in London.

The broader market managed to post modest gains Friday despite a jobs report that contained the worst of both worlds: anemic jobs growth combined with rising wage pressures.

The Nasdaq rose 9 to 2169, the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1220, and the Dow added 8 to 10,530. Volume declined to 2.04 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.75 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-15 on the NYSE, while advancers led 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 62% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 70-88 on the NYSE, and 97-58 on the Nasdaq.

Computer Sciences climbed 1.3% on better than expected earnings.

Oracle rose 3% despite the departure of CFO and co-president Greg Maffei just four months into his tenure at the company, perhaps because of assurances that Maffei isn’t leaving because of personality clashes.

Audible , Sanmina and UTStarcom posted strong gains on their results.

Verity soared 27% on a buyout offer.

Apple lost 1% on a Prudential valuation downgrade.

Fairpoint fell 15% after missing estimates, and Sina slipped on its results.

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