Internet stocks have not been full-blown participants as the Nasdaq has rallied toward 5000, taking a back seat to many of the semiconductor stocks and the screaming biotech issues. But Net stocks were a big reason why the

Nasdaq

ended with only a marginal loss today and still well within reach of the 5000 level.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index closed up 31.64, or 2.6%, at 1252.74 after trading as high as 1274.69.

TheStreet.com New Tech 30 soared 101.76 points, or 13%, to 883.87. A 196.70-point loss in the

Dow

created some concern and served to take many Internet stocks off session highs.

Following last week's inspiring

Robertson Stephens Tech 2000

conference, there were two more technology/Internet conferences that got underway today.

Chase H&Q

began its

plaNET.wall.street

conference, while

PaineWebber

also was throwing an

i2k

conference today and tomorrow.

Many traditional Net stocks were on the plus side. Check out

James Cramer's

take on the business-to-consumer plays in a recent

column.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

closed up 13 9/16, or 9%, at 171 9/16. In addition to presenting at the Chase H&Q conference,

The Wall Street Journal's

TST Recommends

speculated about potential partnerships and purchases Yahoo! could make.

priceline.com

(PCLN)

finished up 14, or 19%, at 89.

Robertson Stephens

put out a note on the company, strongly recommending that investors purchase shares of the stock in advance of its analyst day tomorrow. Robertson Stephens has done underwriting for priceline.

Robertson Stephens also was behind a huge rise in

Internet Capital Group

(ICGE)

, which finished up 23 3/16, or 19.5%, at 142 1/4, though it traded as high as 156 1/16. The research firm upgraded the stock to strong buy from buy, writing that the company had a number of upcoming catalysts, including an investor forum this week. Robertson Stephens has done underwriting for Internet Capital. Fellow Net incubator

CMGI

(CMGI)

closed up 12 15/16, or 9.7%, at 147, while

Safeguard Scientifics

(SFE) - Get Report

added 16, or 9%, to 192 1/2.

Then, there are any number of stocks that have just been on fire of late and were benefiting from being in a hot area like

B2B.

E.piphany

(EPNY)

closed up 20 7/8, or 9.4%, at 243 1/2;

PurchasePro

(PPRO)

ended up 11 11/16, or 9.3%, at 137 1/4, though it traded as high as 145 3/8; and

Inktomi

(INKT)

, which also was presenting at the Chase H&Q conference, added 13 1/2, or 8.4%, to 174 1/2 after Friday's 14 1/2-point gain.