Internet stocks were trading sharply higher at midday Wednesday as the group was benefitting from a series of positive analyst comments.
Just before noon, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index was up 13.88, or 2.89 percent, to 494.83 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 6.93 to 2,678.15 while the blue chip Dow Jones industrial average had slumped 50.34 to 11,066.74.
Both were helped by Merrill Lynch & Co.’s Henry Blodget who raised his rating on Yahoo! and Amazon.com to “short-term buy.” He also recommended investors buy a number of sector leaders, including America Online Inc. (AOL) up 3-13/16 to 101-5/16, eToys Inc. (ETYS) up 5-13/16 to 46-1/16, [email protected] Corp. (ATHM) up 2 to 41-5/8, Lycos Inc. (LCOS) adding 3-13/16 to 46-1/8, Inktomi Corp. (INKT) moving up 3-1/2 to 119-1/2 and Barnesandnoble.com (BNBN) which had jumped 2-3/8 to 19-1/8.
Blodgett expects online shopping during the holiday season to be two to three times bigger than last year.
Online brokers were slumping Wednesday following a report from BancBoston Robertson Stephens forecasting lower revenues for E*Trade Group Inc. and Ameritrade Holding Corp.. E*Trade, which also announced a lower commission schedule for active online traders, (EGRP) was off 1 to 29-1/4, Ameritrade (AMTD) had fallen 11/16 to 24-13/16, National Discount Broker Group Inc. (NDB) had fallen 1-3/8 to 34-5/8, Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH) had tumbled 2-3/16 to 43-5/16 and Siebert Financial Corp. had slumped 1/2 to 19-1/2.
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