Restarted eBay, Yahoo! Talks Ignite Net Shares

Internet stocks were climbing steadily in midday trading Friday amid reports Yahoo! Inc. and eBay Inc. had restarted merger talks.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had climbed 31.26, or 2.94 percent, to 1,094.90, the Nasdaq Composite was up 105.77 to 5,046.38 and the Dow Jones industrial average had gained 37.30 to 11,157.16.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had jumped 6-7/8 to 197-7/8 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) had rocketed 23-7/16 to 247. Britain’s Financial Times, citing individuals close to the negotiations, said the two had resumed discussions that could result in a merger.

Reports of talks between the two Internet bellwethers first emerged two weeks ago, but have never been confirmed by either company.

Commerce One Inc. (CMRC) was up 15-1/2 to 220-1/2. The e-commerce software company and Boeing Co. next week are expected to announce a joint venture with a several aerospace companies that would create an Internet-based aircraft parts exchange.

Wit Capital Group Inc. (WITC) had soared 4-1/8 to 20-11/16. The Internet investment bank Friday said it expected to report its first quarterly profit at the end of this month. Inc. (GOTO) had vaulted 12-1/8 to 48-1/4. The company said its online marketplace has grown to more than 25,000 advertisers and traffic has grown to 20 million unique monthly users.

Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) was up 5-5/8 to 111-5/8 following reports the company is in talks with Michigan officials in an attempt to settle allegations the company failed to disclose it was collecting personal information on Internet users.

A notable exception to all of the day’s high climbers was voice-over-IP firm Inc. (DDDC). Shares had plunged 6-5/8 to 22-7/8 after the company reported President and Chief Executive Officer Amos Sela had resigned. He will be replaced by Noam Bardin, one of Deltathree’s co-founders.

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