CMGI Keeps Net Sector on Right Track as Bellwethers Waver

The Street.com Internet Sector index eked out a new closing high after a roller-coaster day.
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Mr. Toad's got nothing on

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index.

What a wild ride!

The DOT headed to a 52-week high of 920.61 in the first half hour of trading -- a nice height considering its subsequent 15-point freefall over the next two hours. A slight recovery after lunch faltered horribly, sending the index a point and change away from the red. It managed to strengthen a bit and pull out a new record close of 902.37, which isn't saying much considering it tops yesterday's record by fewer than 5 points.

Amazingly, the sector pumped out this gain without any help from bellwethers. Industry leaders

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

,

America Online

(AOL)

,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

,

E*Trade

(EGRP)

and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

all posted losses of 2 or more.

Today's leader was

CMGI

(CMGI)

, which held the flashlight steady and kept the sector on the right track. It rose 21 3/4, or 21%, to 124 5/8 on news of a pair of analyst actions.

Goldman Sachs

resumed coverage of the stock with a market outperform rating, while

Prudential Securities

upped its price target to 186 and reiterated its strong buy rating.

Flyweight components helped buoy the sector, keeping in the green despite the lack of heavyweight punching power.

Open Market

(OMKT)

hit a 52-week high and rose 6%.

Network Associates

(NETA)

rose 11%, while

Egghead.com

(EGGS)

and

Inktomi

(INKT)

posed gains of 5% or better.

Infoseek

(SEEK)

rose 3 1/16, or 9%, to 37 7/8 on news that its board approved of its purchase by

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

, which will lay the groundwork for the creation of

Go.com

, which will eventually be taken public. In July, Disney purchased the 58% of Infoseek that it did not own.

The small gain looms even larger considering

Lycos

(LCOS)

and

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

dug in their heels and dragged the sector down further.

RealNetworks dropped 14 13/16, or 9%, to 144 3/16, after

Lehman Brothers

raised its price target to 200. Apparently, investors felt this level was unrealistic given RealNetworks' recent problems. Yesterday, a

PC Data Online

report mentioned that rival

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

Windows Media Player is gaining ground on RealNetworks' Real Player. Also, the company's negotiations to Webcast

Warner Bros.

TV content combusted, with Warner execs claiming RealNetworks' demands were the deal breaker.

Meanwhile, Lycos couldn't fetch any gains after announcing a deal to create a consumer information Web site with

Equifax

(EFX) - Get Report

. The site,

www.equifax.lycos.com

, would allow consumers to check their own credit ratings. Investors were not excited. Lycos fell 1 15/16, or 3%, to 56. Equifax fell 7/8, or 3%, to 26 1/16.

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

dropped 0.09 to 121.21, hurt most by a steep 11% drop in

AmeriTrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

.

It's too painful to watch.

TheStreet.com E-Finance Index

dropped all day long and was last seen stumbling into the bell. Much of the sector weakness was due to profit-taking. Today's loss of 5 1/16 gives back all of yesterday's gain. Not to worry, e-bankers are still up 34% in November.

A handful of new issues sold like sodas at a Little League game.

Two companies that provide content or access to foreign speakers did quite well.

Terra Networks

(TRRA)

, which targets Spanish and Portuguese speakers, was priced at $13.14 on 22.3 million shares. It gained 24 15/32, or 183%, to 38 1/4. Not to be left out,

Korea Thrunet

(KOREA)

, priced at $18 on 10.1 million shares, rose 17, or 94%, to 35 1/16.

Riding on the coattails of the IPO excitement was

China Prosperity International Holdings

(CPIH)

, which rose 21 9/16, or 205%, to 32 1/16.