Rate Fears Send Internets Slumping

Wall Street reacted negatively to remarks late last week by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan who hinted another rate hike may be in the offing when the board meets in October. That fear, combined with extremely light volume, helped send Internet stocks tumbling Monday.

internet.com’s Internet Stock Index dove 23.70, or 4.72 percent, to 478.05, the Nasdaq Composite fell 46.21 to 2,712.69 and the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 176.04 to 10,91413.

It was a bleak day for all the sector’s leaders, with Amazon.com Corp. (AMZN) lost 9-1/4 to 119-1/4, eBay Inc. (EBAY) fell 7-13/16 to 119-7/16, iVillage (IVIL) tumbled 4-1/8 to 38-1/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) gave back 5-3/16 to 143-13/16.

One of the day’s few successful standouts was Internet Capital Group (ICGE), which soared 5-3/8 to 58-7/8.

The company, which invests in Internet start-ups, was rated near-term “accumulate” by Merrill Lynch’s Henry Blodgett who initiated coverage Monday.

EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) added 1-3/8 to 48-1/4. The Internet provider Monday predicted it will surpass its original membership growth estimates for the third and fourth quarters.

EarthLink expects to add 230,000 new members in the third quarter and 370,000 in the fourth qurater.

Prodigy (PRGY) lost 2-1/8 to 18-7/8. That company was downgraded to “hold” from a “buy” by Salomon Smith Barney.

Internet brokers continued to fall as a report about increasing marketing spending continued to weigh on that sector. The stocks were also hurt by a brief afternoon outage at Charles Schwab’s online brokerage unit. Charles Schwab (SCH) dove 3 to 38-1/4, E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) fell 2-5/16 to 23-5/8, National Discount Broker Group Inc. (NDB) fell 2-15/16 to 31-9/16, DLJdirect (DIR) lost 11/16 to 17-3/4 and Southwest Securities (SWS) tumbled 1-9/16 to 33-15/16

Bamboo.com (BAMB) ran into trouble Monday after a solid run following last week’s IPO. Shares of the company, which offers online tours of real estate, dove 5-3/8 to 18.

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