Rate Hike Can’t Stop Internets

As expected, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by a quarter
percentage point. While the broader market was mixed, Internet stocks ended the day on the upside.

internet.com’s Internet Stock Index ended up 3.42, or 0.69 percent, to
495.69, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 34.10 to 2,753.67 and the Dow
Jones industrial average fell 20.90 to 11,278.86.

The day’s big risers included E-Loan
, climbing 6-3/8 to 29-3/4. The online mortgage company Tuesday
purchased the auto loan business of CarFinance.com from Bank of America for about $67.3 million in stock.

CyberSource (CYBS)
rose 3-1/2 to 28-1/2. The company announced that
Rx.com, an Internet retail pharmacy, has
selected CyberSource to power its real-time credit card transactions.

Rx.com will utilize the CyberSource Internet fraud screen, credit card
processing and delivery address verification services to provide fast,
convenient and fully automated payment services.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
closed up 5-3/4 to 92-3/16. Shares were benefitting from a U.S. appeals
court decision to reverse a preliminary injunction granted in November to
Sun Microsystems Inc. that blocked Microsoft from shipping a modified
version of Sun’s Java. Microsoft had contended its license allowed it to
make modifications.

Separately, reports emerged Tuesday that Rick Belluzzo, who resigned as
chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics, will join
Microsoft to run its Internet operations. While SGI confirmed Belluzzo is
leaving, it would not name the company he was joining and Microsoft would not comment.

America Online Inc. (AOL)
finished unchanged at 99. The company Tuesday launched version 3.0 of its
Instant Messenger program. Germany’s Bertelsmann also announced it was
selling its stake in AOL.

Net2Phone (NTOP)
surged 6 to 53-1/8. The company signed a deal with
Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ)
to distribute its online telephone services.

In addition, Hambrecht & Quist issued a “buy” rating on Net2Phone.

Verio Inc. (VRIO)
moved up 3-1/2 to 40-5/8. AOL’s European subsidiary Tuesday also
expanded a marketing agreement with Verio. Verio will now become the
exclusive e-commerce, domain registration provider and Web hosting company for Netscape Online, AOL’s free Internet service for the U.K.

A number of Internet leaders were also higher, although none had
significant news. Gainers included Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
up 1-15/16 to 120-5/16, Ariba Inc.
jumping 13-3/8 to 140 and SportsLine USA Inc. (SPLN)
up 4-9/16 to 25-3/4.

Finally, Getty Images (GETY)
rose 1-5/16 to 20-7/8. The company purchased
Online USA, which distributes
celebrity news and photos.

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