Positive Comments Driving Internets Higher

Bullish comments from several well-known Internet analysts were helping to drive the sector higher in midday trading Friday.

Just before noon, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index rose 4.55, or 1.05 percent, to 438.12, the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.69 to 2,569.52 and the Dow Jones industrial average had slumped 42.11 to 10,751.71.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was up 5-1/2 to 133-7/8 and America Online Inc. (AOL) had jumped 3-9/16 to 87-1/2.

Goldman Sachs Internet analyst Michael Parekh Friday upgraded Yahoo!, putting the company on its recommended list. Parekh also reiterated his “buy” rating on AOL.

On Friday, AOL sealed partnerships with MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (MSPG) and EarthLink Network (ELNK). The two ISPs will make available co-branded versions of AOL’s Instant Messenger service to their subscribers.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) had climbed 5/8 to 93-1/2. Thomas Weisel Partners Friday reitereated its “market outperform” on the online auctioneer. However, eBay was having another round of technical problems on Friday as several users reported they were unable to place bids or view available items.

Rounding out the action among sector leaders, Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) was up 1-5/16 to 79-7/16 and Amazon.com (AMZN) had fallen 3-1/16 to 94-3/16.

Business Internet provider Verio (VRIO) moved up 1/8 to 68. The company late Thursday reported a second-quarter loss of $45.7 million, or $1.22 a share, 8 cents higher than analysts expected.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was up 1-1/8 to 36-7/16. On Friday, the company purchased Internet Music Distribution Inc., maker of the Sonique MP3 player, for $38.8 million in stock.

Also in streaming media news, Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) was off 11/16 to 69-13/16. The company Friday announced support for the W3C’s working draft of the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language.

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