Net Shares Keep on Truckin' in Afternoon Trading - TheStreet

Dot-com kids are getting ready to party this weekend like it's 1999! In recent trading, the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 202.6, or 5.66%, to 3785.1. Similarly, The Street.com Internet Sector was up 70.1, or 8.33%, to 920.81.

This morning's

employment report has brought nothing but good cheer to the Internet sector today. The

Labor Department reported that

Nonfarm payrolls

grew by 231,000, compared to the 386,000 forecast by economists polled by

Reuters

.

The

unemployment rate

was 4.1%, versus the 3.9% prediction, while

average hourly earnings

were up 0.1%, in contrast to the 0.4% percent rise expected. Wall Street analysts envisioned that soft data would boost the market. Reports pointing to a slowing in the economy have fueled speculation that the

Fed may be less tempted to continue raising interest rates.

According to Richard Dickson, chief technical analyst at

Scott & Stringfellow

, Internet stocks today are reacting to an oversold condition in the market.

"The group is beaten down," he said, "and this appears to be a good time to pick it up."

Will technology stocks eventually resume a leadership role? According to Dickson, there's a lot of doubt about that. "They're more vulnerable to downturns in the market," he says. Further, he said, there are lots of technology shares sitting out there. Whether or not they get picked up will ultimately depend on the demand and appreciation for these stocks. Meanwhile, Dickson observed that "investors are recalling their good fortunes and hoping that history will repeat itself."

Despite today's rally, some Internet IPOS are still in hot water. As

TheStreet.com

first

reported last evening, market volatility continues to frighten away prospective IPOs.

SkyStream Networks

(SSNW)

, a company which sells networking products that connect the Internet to cable, satellite and digital television networks, withdrew its IPO citing market conditions.

Furthermore,

Exult

(EXLT)

, a Web-based provider of human resources services, rose only 1/4, or 2.5%, to 10 1/4 on its first day of trading. The company's initial plan to offer 14 million shares at $14 to $16 a share was cut to nine million at $13 to $15 each, and finally six million at $10 to $12 each. The shares were priced at $10 a share.

In headline news, it looks like

iVillage

(IVIL)

is planning to toss the baby out with the bath water. According to a

Wall Street Journal

report this morning, the beleaguered women's Web site, is in talks to sell its baby products commerce site

iBaby

to privately held competitor

BabyGear.com

. Recently, iVillage was up 5/64, or 1%, to 8.

For more on this story, take a look at

coverage from TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom.

Merrill Lynch

today initiated coverage of

chinadotcom

(CHINA)

as an intermediate-term accumulate. "In our opinion," Merrill's research note begins, "chinadotcom is more than a Chinese-language portal, as it is often considered to be, but rather a pan-Asian Internet firm that is building a network of several Internet companies." chinadotcom hopped 3 15/16, or 16.54%, to 27 3/4.