Net Sector Nudges Ahead, Propelled by Deal News

Lycos and Ericsson announce a hookup, and AOL links up with TMP Worldwide and Net2Phone.
Author:
Publish date:

The Internet sector took on a more positive tone today after dragging its feet for a few days.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was recently up 22.92, or 2.5%, at 948.21. The DOT managed to close above key support at 924.88 yesterday, though that level should continue to be a focus for technicians. Market direction may also be determined by Friday's employment report.

Among stocks in the news,

Lycos

(LCOS)

was up 3 1/2, or 6%, at 61 5/8 after the Web portal said it had agreed to a deal with

Ericsson

(ERICY)

to supply Web content to wireless products. Ericsson was up 11/16, or 1.4%, at 51.

Also,

priceline.com

(PCLN)

was up 2 13/16, or 4.7%, at 63 7/16 after

Prudential Securities

initiated coverage of the stock with a strong buy rating and an 80 price target. Prudential noted that priceline's recent foray into the grocery business, where consumers name their own prices for groceries, could be priceline's next "blockbuster" category. Analyst Mark Rowen noted that priceline's valuation of more than $13 billion was "a stretch," but the implied growth appears achievable. Prudential has not done underwriting for priceline.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was trading higher and competitor

barnesandnoble.com

(BNBN)

was lower after a judge granted Amazon a preliminary injunction against barnesandnoble.com, prohibiting it from using a version of Amazon's one-click technology. One-click allows online shoppers to purchase items just by clicking a button; they don't have to fill out shipping and purchasing data. Amazon was up 2 1/8, or 2.5%, at 87 1/8, while barnesandnoble.com was down 3/4, or 3.9%, at 18 5/8.

America Online

(AOL)

was up 1 7/8, or 2.5%, at 78 after announcing a couple of agreements. AOL said it had entered into a four-year agreement with

TMP Worldwide

(TMPW)

for its unit

Monster.com

to be the exclusive career-search engine across AOL's brands. AOL also said it had entered into a three-year pact with

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

to provide AOL instant messenger users with phone service over the Internet. TMP Worldwide was up 19, or 20%, at 114, while Net2Phone was up 2 1/16, or 3.7%, at 57 1/2 on the news.

A couple of IPOs were prepared to go live today.

McAfee.com

(MCAF:Nasdaq), which provides provides antivirus, Y2K compliance and security services for computers, priced 6.25 million shares at $12 a share, the top of the estimated $10-to-$12 range.

Also,

The Knot

(KNOT:Nasdaq), a Web site that helps with wedding preparations, was priced at $10, which was the high end of the $8-to-$10 range.