The Net sector was showing some muscle in early trading today with

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index rising 26.5, or 2.06%, to 1314.52 and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

up 73.77, or 1.5%, to 4971.03.

Shares of

America Online

(AOL)

were flying higher by more than 9% after CEO Steve Case told the

Bloomberg

news agency that it continues to talk with

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

about forming a partnership.

Credit Suisse First Boston

repeated a strong buy rating on the stock, expressing confidence in its underlying fundamentals. The stock was the most active on the

New York Stock Exchange

with 22 million shares changing hands.

Bellwethers

TheStreet Recommends

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

were also getting a pop off general Net optimism. Yahoo was up 5 3/16, or 3%, to 182 3/16, while Amazon was adding 3 15/16, or 6%, to 67 9/16.

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

was feeling less-than-excited though, lately off 1 to 29 7/8.

Network Solutions

(NSOL)

was ramping up 41 9/16, or 10%, to 465, after some of Tuesday's merger momentum cooled off yesterday. The company is being acquired by

Verisign

(VRSN) - Get Report

in a deal currently valued at $17.25 billion. Network Solutions was the Comp's top highflier at midday.

Internet access equipment supplier

Redback

(RBAK)

was deep in the green, up 18 5/16, or 6%, to 346 on last night's news that it will split its stock 2-for-1.