In something of an ironic twist, a weak

retail sales report

encouraged investors to buy stocks.

The

Nasdaq

closed up 114.85, or 3.4%, at 3499.58, though Internet stocks were mixed.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index finished up 26.38, or 3.3%, at 834.05. Internet stocks have had a tendency to lag the rest of tech, having been hit harder in the recent selloff.

Gains followed a decline in April

retail sales, which gave hope that the Fed may not need to be as aggressive raising rates as feared. The market faces another key piece of data tomorrow with the

Producer Price Index

report. Shorts may have been looking to cover in advance of that report, should it also be benign.

The close on the highs was positive from a technical perspective, meeting the criteria set forth in an earlier

story, while volume of around 1.3 billion shares also was decent and suggested further gains.

Among the day's winners,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

closed up 6 3/4, or 6%, at 117 3/4;

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

finished up 6 27/64, or 5.4%, at 125 5/16;

Lycos

(LCOS)

ended up 8 5/8, or 19%, at 54;

Phone.com

(PHCM)

added 7 13/16, or 13%, to 69 1/16; while

Retek

(RETK)

added 4 1/16, or 23%, to 21 9/16.

But some other high-profile names did not fare so well.

E.piphany

(EPNY)

dropped 5 11/16, or 7%, to 72 9/16;

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

slid 8 3/8, or 5.4%, to 148;

Foundry Networks

(FDRY)

fell 6 1/16, or 8%, to 66 3/4; and

Register.com

(RCOM)

ended down 5 1/2, or 11%, at 45.

E-Loan

(EELN)

closed up 1/8, or 2.2%, at 5 15/16 despite a negative research report from

Salomon Smith Barney

. Salomon reduced revenue forecasts going out for the online mortgage seller. Salomon dropped revenue estimates for 2000 to $41 million from $43 million, though it also dropped estimates on the company's loss for the year to 94 cents from $1.01. Salomon maintained its neutral rating on the stock, but lowered its price target to 8 from 20.

Salomon analyst Matthew Vetto wrote that the revenue forecast resulted from lower expected mortgage originations, due to the rising rate environment, and a "tough competitive environment." The improvement in the net-loss-per-share estimate resulted from higher share count following E-Loan's recently announced capital infusion. Salomon has not done underwriting for E-Loan.