Trade Numbers Send Internets Reeling

Internet issues, along with all major U.S. market indices, took a dive Thursday after the government reported a steep increase in the trade deficit.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index had tumbled 14.99, or 2.98 percent, to 470.60, the Nasdaq Composite had plunged 36.55 to 2,621.05 and the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 90.55 to 10,900.83.

The Commerce Department reported the trade deficit widened to $24.62 billion in June from $21.16 billion in May. Last month’s figure was sharply higher than the $20.6 billion economists had forecast.

That news caused all the Internet leaders to fall, including Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) down 4 to 141-1/16, Inc. (AMZN) falling 4-1/4 to 108-7/8, America Online Inc. (AOL) slumping 1-15/16 to 97-1/4, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) off 2-9/16 to 82-3/4 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) had lost 5-15/16 to 120.

All the news wasn’t bad, however. Onsale (ONSL) was up 1-3/4 to 18. The online auctioneer late Wednesday said third-quarter revenues will grow 12 percent, beating current forecasts. It also expects to reach profitability over the next two quarters.

That report was also benefitting (EGGS) which in July agreed to merge with Onsale. Egghead was up 1-7/32 to 8-31/32.

Inktomi Corp. (INKT) was off 5-1/8 to 113-7/8. That came despite Thomas Weisel Partners reiterating its “strong buy” rating.

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