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Beatings Subside Briefly as B2B Stocks Rally

At least one market watcher is looking at PurchasePro in the wake of the recent selloff.

After getting scrooged for most of December, B2B investors got an early Christmas present Friday as a broader technology rally led to outsize gains in the sector.

B2B leaders




Commerce One


were up 9% and 12%, respectively, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 6%. Lately, Ariba shares were up $4.44 to $52.30, while Commerce One's stock was ahead $2.38 to $22.75.

Commerce One's move comes after it was

clocked on Wednesday when



snatched away one of its big customers. From last Friday through last night, the stock had lost 44% of its value.

"They were beaten down a little too far, and now they're coming back," says Patrick Walravens, an analyst at

Lehman Brothers

who rates Ariba neutral and Commerce One outperform. His firm hasn't done underwriting for either. "Look at Commerce One. That, in my mind, has got to be an overreaction. To cut nearly half their market cap because they lost a pilot customer seems a little overdone."

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Other B2Bs were also doing well. Investors in

i2 Technologies


were feeling merry as their shares rose $6, or 14%, to $49.31. Of course, that's still 21% lower than the stock's Dec. 11 close.


was up $3.25, or 25%, to $15.81. It had lost 36% of its value since Dec. 13. Thursday, the company announced a partnership with


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in which the companies will help sell and distribute each other's software.

Lehman's Walravens, who rates PurchasePro strong buy, said even more cheer may be ahead for the stock.

"Of Ariba, Commerce One and PurchasePro, PurchasePro is the one I'd be watching over the next three weeks," said Walravens, whose firm hasn't done underwriting for the company.


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and BroadVision were also seeing smaller, but significant, jumps.