Strong Net Sector Surges on Employment Data

TheStreet.com Internet Sector index tops its previous high and looks poised to close above 1,000 for the first time.
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Wouldn't it be nice if all the traffic lights were green on the way home? Well, investors have just about the next-best thing: today's employment

report.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 38.69, or 4.0%, at 1015.89 in early trading, topping its previous high of 1008.98 from Nov. 29, and it appeared poised to close above the 1,000 level for the first time.

Online financial stocks were benefiting from fewer concerns over rising interest rates.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

was up 1 3/16, or 3.8%, at 32 1/4;

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

was up 1 1/8, or 4.7%, at 24 7/8, while

Knight/Trimark

(NITE)

was up 2 1/16, or 4.6%, at 46.

As expected, gains as were widespread.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, which has traded to a new all-time high since news of its inclusion in the

S&P 500

, was up 11 9/16, or 4.7%, at 257 3/8. Also,

America Online

(AOL)

was up 2 1/2, or 3.1%, at 82 1/2, and

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was up 3 15/16, or 4.4%, at 93.

Among Net stocks in the news,

Inktomi

(INKT)

was up 12 1/4, or 9.6%, at 139 9/16 after the company announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Among

Red Hots,

Broadcom

(BRCM)

was up 9 1/16, or 4.5%, at 209.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

increased its 12- to 18-month price target on the stock to 250 from 180 and also increased its fiscal 2000 earnings-per-share estimate to $1.35 from $1.25. Morgan Stanley, which maintained an outperform rating on the stock, has done underwriting for Broadcom.

Also,

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

was up another 12 13/16, or 4.3%, at 312 13/16. The company is expected to make a new product announcement and announce a new customer on Dec. 7.

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

was one of the few Net stocks not participating in the rally. It was down 1/2, or 0.6%, at 52 7/16. The company said today that it intends to raise approximately $400 million through an offering of convertible subordinated notes. Proceeds of the offering will be used to finance the $350 million cash component for its proposed acquisition of

Bluemountain.com

.