Rate Fears Send Nets, Techs Into Tailspin

Investors were feverishly selling technology and Internet issues Monday as rate fears continued to cast a spell on the market ahead of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting which begins Tuesday.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index had dove 50.66, or 6.19 percent, to 768.14, the Nasdaq Composite was off 114.46 to 3,772.61 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 19.55 to 10,758.42.

Leaders posting large losses included many of the B2B stocks that have been steady high fliers of late. Ariba Inc. (ARBA) was off 17 to 156-3/4, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) had fallen 16-5/16 to 267-11/16, Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) was down 19-15/16 to 113-1/2 and Checkpoint Software Technology (CHKP) was off 7-7/16 to 107-9/16.

Also in the red were Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK), plunging 13-5/8 to 87, Exodus Communications (EXDS) off 13-13/16 to 105-15/16, Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) was off 16-13/16 to 140-5/8 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) was down 13-15/32 to 151.

Netcentives Inc. (NCNT) had jumped 4 to 65-7/8 and America Online Inc. (AOL) was off 3-9/16 to 55-5/16. AOL Monday announced it will take a stake in the marketing company for online retailers.

Infospace.com (INSP) was down 18-1/4 to 133-1/2. The company Monday announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

internet.com Corp. (INTM) had slipped 1 to 46-3/8. The publisher of this Web site Monday purchased ASPnews.com, a site offering news and analysis for application service providers.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) was off 1-15/16 to 59-3/4 and Audible (ADBL) was up 1-1/16 to 15-9/16. Amazon Monday took a 5 percent stake in the company. In exchange, it will promote Audible’s services on its Web site and will receive $30 million over three years from Audible.

Also, Thomas Weisel Partners Monday removed Amazon from its model portfolio.

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