Yahoo! Buoys Nets As Acquisitions Sweep Through Sector

Internet stocks were faring well in midday trading due in large part to enthusiasm over Yahoo! Inc.’s upcoming addition to the S&P 500.

Just before noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had jumped 14.79, or 2.19 percent, to 690.52, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 25.18 to 3,361.34 and the Dow Jones industrial average had gained 85.71 to 10,963.52.

Yahoo! (YHOO) had jumped 15-5/8 to 228-3/8. The company will join the S&P 500 on Dec. 7, replacing Canadian conglomerate Laidlaw.

DoubleClick Inc. (DCLK) was up 7-7/16 to 167-1/2. The Internet ad company Wednesday acquired Opt-In, a provider of e-mail marketing and list management. The buy comes on the heels of DoubleClick’s launch of a new suite of e-mail applications.

CMGI Inc. (CMGI) had gained 2-15/16 to 150-1/4. The Internet holding company Wednesday acquired Tribal Voice, makers of the Pow Wow instant messaging client. CMGI plans to merge the technology from its Activerse unit into Tribal Voice to form a new unit that will focus on corporate messaging tools.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was up 3-1/4 to 76-1/8. The company Wednesday advanced its wireless strategy with the purchase of Tegic Communications for an undisclosed sum. Tegic’s technology will be used to develop Internet messaging solutions through wireless devices. (ASFD) soared 5 to 23 after Inc. (AMZN) announced it was investing $10 million in the luxury goods retailer. Amazon will receive a 16.6 percent stake and will market Ashford on its Web site during the holidays.
Amazon was up 1-11/64 to 86-15/64

Also, Salomon Smith Barney restarted coverage on AMZN with a “buy,” setting a $120 target.

In a note to clients, Merrill Lynch’s Henry Blodget said Wednesday leading e-commerce companies will likely take a pause from their strong holiday run up as investors focus on first-quarter results and competitive pressures.

“Within the B2C sector, we would be most concerned about weaker companies in the e-tailing group, some of which have benefited along with the leaders from the general enthusiasm around the holiday season,” Blodget wrote.

Blodget said companies that are gaining market share and increasing international operations, such as Yahoo!, America Online, DoubleClick and Amazon, will likely see minimal damage and recover faster from a post-holiday downturn.

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