Amazon Leads the Net Pack to Greener Ground

Investors are responding well to Amazon's latest initiative, and most of the sector seems to be benefiting.
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If you can't beat them, have them join you. That's the latest apparent strategy adopted by Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, which was soaring today after saying it will allow individuals and other companies to open stores on its Web site. For $9.99 a month, merchants can list as many as 3,000 items on "zShops," which is slated to open Thursday, according to Bloomberg. Amazon was up 8 3/4, or 13%, at 74 5/8 early on.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was also in the green this morning, recently up 10.81, or 1.7%, at 642.11.

Among the leaders,

USWeb/CKS

(USWB)

was up 1 27/32, or 6%, at 32 7/16. As we

reported Tuesday,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

will take a $67.5 million stake in USWeb/CKS over the next year, supporting new application services and technologies. In 18 months, USWeb, in accordance with the deal, will give Microsoft royalties on service offerings associated with the technologies. In addition, Microsoft agreed to buy warrants for $14.9 million, enabling the company to buy 1 million USWeb/CKS shares for $27.59 each at any time over the next five years.

eToys

(ETYS)

was up 7 3/16, or 12%, at 66 13/16 after

Goldman Sachs

upped its rating to trading buy from market outperform because of prospects for a strong holiday season. eToys' price target was also raised to 80 from 60. Goldman was the lead underwriter for the eToys IPO.

On the IPO front, the parade of new Internet issues will continue today, and they can only hope for a fraction of the success seen by Tuesday's stalwart IPO,

Foundry Networks

. Foundry soared more than 500% Tuesday, and it was down 8 1/4, or 5%, at 148 early today as traders booked some profits.

Among today's IPOs,

NetSolve's

(NTSL:Nasdaq) 3.7 million-share IPO was priced top-range at $13 a share through

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

. The company is a network monitoring outsourcer. Also, the market reception of

ShopNow.com

(SPNW:Nasdaq) will gauge how investors view another e-commerce site. ShopNow.com is an online shopping mall that carries products from more than 29,000 merchants. It priced 7.25 million shares at $12 per share.

FTD.com

(EFTD:Nasdaq) follows on the heels of

1-800-Flowers.com

(FLWS) - Get Report

, which has had only modest success since it went public in August. In a not-so-positive sign, FTD.com priced at $8 a share, below the $13-to-$15 range originally proposed. The offering size was reduced to 4.5 million shares from 5.5 million.

Finally,

Telemate.Net

(TMNT:Nasdaq), which provides software that allows businesses to monitor Internet and voice networks, priced at $14 a share.