Stocks Lose Luster to Close Lower

Early market gains were erased by Friday’s close as investors were scared off by new economic data that renewed inflation fears.

The September National Association of Purchasing Management executive survey showed prices paid by factories rose to their highest level in more than four years.’s Internet Stock Index closed off 1.52, or .29 percent, to 525.73, the Nasdaq Composite lost 9.30 to 2,736.86 and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 63.95 to 10,273.00

In other market news, BancBoston Robertson Stephens is expected to announce Monday that influential Internet analyst Keith Benjamin is leaving to join an unnamed venture capital firm. Benjamin has been one of the most influential sector analysts and is well-known for his bullish outlook.

[email protected] Corp. (ATHM) gained 3-1/16 to 44-1/2 and AT&T Corp. (T), lost 1-3/4 to 41-3/4.

Both companies late Thursday issued statements confirming they had held talks with unnamed third parties regarding AT&T’s stake in the cable Internet provider.

Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) shed 1 to 92 after announcing it will make the source code to its Solaris version of Unix available free for non-commercial use.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) gave back 2-27/32 to 138-7/32 after announcing plans to open 50 regional Web sites by year’s end. The sites are an effort to lure advertising that normally goes in a newspaper’s classified ad section.

Among other Internet leaders, America Online Inc. (AOL), which has been rumored to be vying for [email protected]’s cable Internet business, ended up 3-3/16 to 107-7/8, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) shed 3-5/16 to 99-3/16, Doubleclick (DCLK) gave back 4-3/4 to 114-3/8 and Inktomi Corp. (INKT) fell 6-19/32 to 113-7/16.

Finally, four new issues were added to the ISDEX effective Friday. They were iXL Enterprises (IIXL), (MPPP), eToys (ETYS), Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) and Net2Phone (NTOP).

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