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Net Stocks Get Whipsawed in Choppy Session

They've been up, they've been down, as profit-takers and opportunity-seekers do battle.

Up and down, back and forth. The Internet sector was a veritable bouncing ball today, as conflicting forces took the stock market in every direction but sideways.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 31.85, or 2.8%, at 1186.30 in recent trading, closer to the 1206.17 high made at the open than the 1138.43 session low made around 11 a.m. EST. The 1206.17 high is a record for the DOT, and the 1138.43 low is nearly identical to last Friday's low of 1141.57, which became an area of support for the index.

Traders took advantage of the early pop that resulted from the absence of Y2K problems by taking profits, and the resultant selling was, at times, particularly strong because investors who take profits today will not need to pay taxes on those profits until next year. Weakness in the

Dow

due to a sharp drop in Treasuries contributed to the selloff, and momentum took care of the rest. But, as usual, weakness presented an

opportunity of its own, and buyers stepped in on the first signs of a setback to buy issues that only minutes before were more expensive.

Price action was volatile to say the least.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

traded in a range between 429 1/2 and 452 3/8. The stock recently was up 16 5/16, or 4%, at 449.

CMGI

(CMGI)

traded in a range between 284 and 312 3/4. It recently was up 40 1/2, or 15%, at 317 3/8. Enthusiasm in the stock was stemming from its mention as one of Steve Harmon's top Internet picks for 2000. Harmon is a well-followed Internet analyst who runs the

e-harmon.com

Web site.

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Chat boards indicated that other stocks on the list included

Net Perceptions

(NETP)

,

Pacific Internet

(PCNTF)

,

Spyglass

(SPYG) - Get SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF Report

,

CNet

(CNET) - Get ZW Data Action Technologies Inc Report

,

U.S. Interactive

(USIT)

,

Terra Networks

(TRRA)

,

Redback Networks

(RBAK)

,

America Online

(AOL)

and

Santa Cruz Operation

(SCOC)

.

In recent trading, Net Perceptions was up 7 3/4, or 19%, at 49 3/4 after trading as high as 63 1/2; Pacific Internet was up 18, or 38%, at 64 15/16; Spyglass was up 11 5/32, or 29%, at 49; CNet was up 4 5/8, or 8%, at 61 3/8; Redback was up 6, or 3%, at 183 1/2; U.S. Interactive was up 31 3/8, or 73%, at 74 3/8; Terra Networks was up 5 3/4, or 11%, at 60 1/2; AOL was up 1 5/16, or 2%, at 77 3/16; and Santa Cruz Operation was up 1 3/4, or 6%, at 32 1/8.

CMGI also made another select list today -- the list of stocks scheduled to split in the coming weeks. CMGI is due for a 2-for-1 stock split on Jan. 11. Other Net stocks on the split list include

InfoSpace.com

(INSP) - Get Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. Report

(scheduled for a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 4),

Foundry Networks

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(a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 7),

Pegasus Systems

(PEGS)

(a 3-for-2 split on Jan. 7),

InterNAP Network

(INAP) - Get Internap Corp. Report

(a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 7),

Red Hat

(RHAT)

(a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 7),

Xcelera.com

(XLA)

(a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 7),

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

(a 2-for-1 split on Jan. 10) and

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Juniper Networks, Inc. Report

(a 3-for-1 split on Jan. 14). The dates here are tentative, and the splits will take place after the close of trading. Stocks will trade at their post-split prices in the session following the split.

These stocks are among some of the hottest plays in the Internet sector today (hence the high trading prices that led to the split announcements). InfoSpace was up 4, or 2%, at 218 in recent trading; Foundry Networks was up 23 5/16, or 8%, at 325; InterNAP was up 9 7/8, or 6%, at 182 7/8; Red Hat was up 4 3/4, or 2.3%, at 216; Xcelera.com was up 9, or 7%, at 148 1/2; DoubleClick was up 1 7/8 at 254 15/16 (off a high of 270 1/2); and Juniper was up 1 7/8 at 341 7/8.

Trading on stock splits has become a

craze in this day and age, and guessing which stock will be the next to announce a split has become a common game in the market and has helped keep stocks at otherwise unexplainable levels. Yahoo! has remained above 400 of late, in part on

expectations that it will announce a split. While

critics denounce the trade as having little to do with fundamentals of the company, there is no question that it is a trade that continues to work. Stocks often rise not only in advance of the split, but also after the split takes place, as traders see value in the "cheaper" price.