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Net Sector Mixed as Nasdaq Heads Toward 5000

Meanwhile, Palm is going public and commanding much of the attention in the tech sector.

After a slow start, the

Nasdaq

was again on the offensive today and heading toward 5000, though Internet stocks were showing mixed results.

In early trading, the Nasdaq was up 35.58, or 0.74%, at 4819.66.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 11.49, or 0.96%, at 1188.04.

Weakness in biotech was weighing on the tech sector and dropping Net stocks as well. Strength in the tech sector this week has been helped by the appearance of many companies at the

Robertson Stephens

Tech 2000 Conference, which concludes

today.

It's not a pure Internet play, but

3Com's

(COMS)

Palm

(PALM)

is going public today and commanding much of the attention in the technology sector. The 23 million-share IPO was priced at $38 a share, above the expected range of $30 to $32. 3Com was up 4 15/16, or 5%, to 109 1/16 in early trading.

With Palm not yet trading,

Radiant

(RADS)

was commanding the market's attention early on, moving up 54 3/4, or 99%, to 110, though it had traded as high as 119 1/4. The company and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

said they have entered into a deal to set up e-commerce marketplaces for retailers. The deal calls for Microsoft to take an undisclosed equity stake in Radiant and to support product development. The venture would help small and midsize retailers buy supplies for their businesses. Microsoft was up 1 5/16, or 1%, at 92 1/8.

Following the news,

Credit Suisse First Boston

doubled its target price on Radiant to 150 from 75 (apologies for the simple math). Analysts wrote that the announcement validated Radiant's B2B marketing position similar to the way in which a previous deal with

America Online

(AOL)

had validated its business-to-consumer positioning. CS First Boston has done underwriting for Radiant.

Net2Phone

TST Recommends

(NTOP)

was down 11/16, or 1%, at 57 7/16 after its quarterly report last night. The company reported a loss of 17 cents a share for its fiscal second quarter vs. the 18-cent estimate from

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

Following the report,

Bear Stearns

raised its revenue projections on Net2Phone for 2000 to $69.8 million from $69.0 million, but lowered loss-per-share estimates for 2000 to a 73-cent loss from a 70-cent loss "largely as a result of higher spending." Analyst Robert Fagin also wrote that going forward, he anticipated "continued margin pressure" as pricing declines, though that pressure would be "mitigated to some extent by lower network costs as the company strengthens its infrastructure." Bear Stearns has done underwriting for Net2Phone.

Verio

(VRIO)

, a provider of Internet services to small and medium-sized businesses, was off 10 15/16, or 14%, at 69 1/16 despite besting quarterly estimates. Verio reported a loss of 71 cents a share vs. the 75-cent loss estimate from First Call/Thomson Financial. The stock ran up significantly ahead of the report, reaching an all-time high of 84 15/16 Wednesday.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

came to the defense of

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

today following Wednesday's decline that was triggered by reports that

AltaVista

and

Kozmo.com

were backing off relationships with DoubleClick. DoubleClick was down 5, or 6%, at 75 9/16 early on.

DLJ analyst Jamie Kiggen said the news was a "nonevent." He indicated that Kozmo's decision to move away from DoubleClick was made months ago and was unrelated to privacy issues and that only 0.003% of DoubleClick's fourth-quarter revenue, or $3,580, came from Kozmo. He also indicated that AltaVista's relationship with DoubleClick "will be unchanged, despite the addition of an opt-in button." He wrote that DoubleClick already has undertaken privacy initiatives on its own, "and additional measures from clients such as AltaVista should pose no danger to their business relationships." DLJ has done underwriting for DoubleClick.

Finally,

Quokka Sports

(QKKA)

was up 3/4, or 6%, at 13 5/8 after announcing it had acquired

ZoneNetwork.com

, a privately-held company that produces and owns

MountainZone.com

, and its sister Web site

SkiResorts.com

. The all-stock transaction was valued at $25 million.