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Pulse: eBay, PurchasePro and Juniper Networks Pump Life Into Tech

A modest rebound in the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

provided a lift to technology stocks late in the day, though the day's price action did little to indicate near-term direction.

The

Nasdaq

ended the day up 31.80, or 0.82%, at 3897.44, closer to the session high of 3913.87 than the low of 3795.08. The lows came when losses in the Dow topped 200, but it ended with a 101-point loss, allowing tech stocks to rebound.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index ended down 2.37, or 0.3%, at 789.42.

Among the day's winners,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

finished up $10.88, or 16.6%, at $76.56 as it held an analysts' day today.

Salomon Smith Barney

analyst Tim Albright put out a note soon after the meeting, indicating that the company would provide long-term guidance that was consistent with his existing estimates and price target ($112.50).

Albright indicated that eBay's revenue is projected to reach $3 billion by 2005, representing almost a 50% five-year CAGR (compounded annual growth rate). He wrote that the total worldwide market opportunity is estimated at more than $1.6 trillion of second-hand transaction value currently, increasing to $2 trillion in 2005.

But investors were not as enamored of

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

, which held an analysts' day yesterday. It closed down $3.25, or 8%, at $37.50 after analysts gave mixed reviews to the meeting (see below).

Best performer in the business-to-business sector was

PurchasePro

(PPRO)

, which closed up $11.38, or 18%, at $73.13 after

Lehman Brothers

upgraded the stock to buy from outperform.. And among infrastructure stocks,

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

extended yesterday's gains that came after it introduced new products. It closed up $10.13, or 4.8%, at $220.06.

Finally,

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

closed down 81 cents, or 5%, at $15.38. The company

said that chairman and CEO George Bell would relinquish his executive role once a suitable replacement is found.

2:20 p.m.: Tech Struggles at Midday

Yesterday's glee was being replaced by more caution, as weakness in the broader market was dragging the technology sector lower.

The

Nasdaq

was off 14 in recent trading. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was off more than 163 points in recent trading.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 9.

Over at

RealMoney.com

, Todd Harrison, head trader and partner with the

Cramer Berkowitz

hedge fund, was handling out some sound advice for traders unsure what to do with losing trades. Here's what he had to say.

"I've received a lot of emails asking what to do with holdings from earlier in the year that are under water. There is no blanket response to this, as each of you has a different risk profile and parameters.

I will say, however, that hoping is not a viable investment thesis, and if you feel constrained by your portfolio, it may make sense to take partial losses and free up some trading capital. There are literally thousands of opportunities daily to make money. Don't let those bad investments cost you more than they already have."

Sometimes the best advice can be the most simple advice.

Among the day's casualties,

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was down 5.8% as investors apparently were not thrilled about what the online retailer said at its analyst meeting yesterday. However,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, which was holding an analyst day today, was up 9%.

Business-to-business stocks have been among the most volatile with the market going through its recent ups and downs and that continued today. On the decline,

E.piphany

(EPNY)

TheStreet Recommends

was off 4%, while on the upside,

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

was up 17.9% after it was upgraded by

Lehman Brothers

(see note below).

Among Internet infrastructure plays,

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

was building on yesterday's rally following the introduction of some new products. However,

Foundry Networks

was off 6.1%, as analysts

claimed Juniper's new edge routers would compete with products from Foundry.

Finally, in a down market, shares of

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

were up 4%. The stock slid

Monday after the company was seen as shifting gears when it announced a new venture to sell Internet phone-system software.

But

Bear Stearns

came to the defense of Net2Phone today, saying the selloff was unwarranted. Analyst Robert Fagin said the company's creation of Adir "in no way signals the capitulation of the company's services business. In fact, we believe Net2Phone's strategy of licensing its industry-leading IP telephony software is a logical extension of the company's core services business." Bear Stearns has done underwriting for Net2Phone.

11:10 a.m. EDT: Amazon Slips After Analyst Meeting; PurchasePro Jumps

Investors appeared unsure whether yesterday's rally was the start of something bigger, or just another opportunity for shorts to slam the market.

In early trading, the

Nasdaq was off 12.7 to 3852.2, not seeing follow-through to yesterday's 180-point rally -- at least not yet.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was 3.75 lower to 788.04.

Among stocks in the news,

America Online

(AOL)

was off 1.8%. The

Wall Street Journal

reported that the

Federal Trade Commission

was questioning some regional telephone companies about whether the proposed merger of AOL and

Time Warner

(TWX)

would threaten plans to deliver AOL service through rivals' high-speed telephone lines. The article says the FTC could make any promises the company makes regarding open access into a legally binding requirement of the settlement.

Sticking to the topic of service providers,

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

was off 5.8% after the company

said that George Bell, the chairman and chief executive of the high-speed ISP, will relinquish his executive role once a suitable replacement is found.

Prudential Securities

took a positive view on the announcement, saying it "signals further progress in preparing the company for major operational expansion." Analyst Paul Merenbloom wrote that the search for a new chairman was a "point of strength, not a signal of any problem." Prudential has not done underwriting for Excite@Home.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was off 4% following its analyst's meeting yesterday.

Robinson Humphrey

analyst Russ Miles was upbeat following his trip to Reno, Nevada, site of Amazon's new distribution center. He wrote that while he still had concerns about the company successfully deploying its model globally, "we do believe that management's confidence allayed fears about whether or not the company will be successful." Miles wrote that investors have a "second chance" to buy Amazon shares at current levels "and realize tremendous returns in the next 12-18 months."

"This company continues to realize enormous top-line growth and, coupling that with a cost structure beginning to demonstrate the power of scale, we have a potentially explosive period coming in the next six quarters," Miles wrote. "If your investment horizon is that long, buy shares now to make sure you don't miss the opportunity if evidence begins to reveal itself sooner than anticipated."

Not quite so bubbly was

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

analyst Jeetil Patel, who maintained a market perform rating on the stock after the meeting. "While we found the analyst meeting quite informative, we remain concerned from a stock perspective into the timing of breakeven earnings, much less profitability, from an investment standpoint," he wrote. "The company did not provide any guidance on the timing of breakeven earnings. However, focus on proving out the economics of the core e-tailing model appears to be increasingly important to management with expense controls (i.e. holding costs stable) and increased order volumes (i.e. scale) representing two key tenets in achieving this objective."

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

was up jumping 12.9% after

Lehman Brothers

upgraded the stock to buy from outperform and upped its price target to $120 from $70. Analyst Patrick Walravens increased revenue estimates for the current year to $56 million from $49 million and to $184 million in 2001 from $153 million. He indicated the increase came from more digital marketplace sales, at a higher average selling price, and additional advertising revenue.

Walravens also indicated that the stock was "relatively undervalued." He pointed out that, at current levels, the stock was trading at 15 times 2001 revenues compared to an average of 36 times for other comparable stocks. Lehman has not done underwriting for PurchasePro.