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Blodget Gives Beleaguered Net Stocks a Lift

Plus, rumors of a fundamental-side downgrade of Microsoft prove untrue.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The recently out-of-favor Internet sector got a lift this morning from an old friend.

CNBC

reported that

CIBC Oppenheimer

TST Recommends

Internet analyst Henry Blodget is recommending

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. CIBC Oppenheimer confirmed that the analyst had made those recommendations and that

America Online

(AOL)

was another stock Blodget was recommending.

In early trading, Amazon.com was up 4 1/4 at 93 3/4, and Yahoo! was up 3 at 131 7/8. Amazon.com and Yahoo! have both slid sharply from highs reached in January. Amazon.com has shaved more than 100 points from its 199 1/8 high set Jan. 8. Yahoo! reached a high of 222 1/2 Jan. 11, but traded as low as 124 Thursday. (Note that prices are on a postsplit basis.)

Blodget made a name for himself by forecasting a 400 price target on Amazon.com in

December, and the stock reached that level less than a month later.

Blodget will be one of a number of Internet experts to appear in

today's

TSC Net Stock Summit

.

I Said "Technical Analyst"

Salomon Smith Barney

has not downgraded

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, as was rumored late Thursday.

A source at the firm said the rumor apparently got started after a

CNBC

reporter said he had heard reports that a "technical analyst" had downgraded the stock, and some viewers had interpreted it to be a downgrade by a fundamental analyst. The source said a technical analyst did downgrade the stock to avoid/lighten from hold, but there was no change in the rating from the fundamental side.

Salomon fundamental analyst Neil Herman said he maintains a buy rating on the stock and reiterated that in a report this morning, saying recent weakness in the shares due to ongoing litigation with the

Department of Justice

represents an "excellent buying opportunity." In early trading, Microsoft was 1 1/4 higher at 147.

Rambus Recovers

Positive words from

Morgan Stanley's

Mark Edelstone on

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

are helping the company this morning. Edelstone said that Rambus was a good buy following Thursday's 7 1/8-point decline. He said there were rumors about

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

level of commitment to Rambus over the long term, which were untrue. He said Intel was "highly committed" to Rambus, which was up 5 1/4 at 66 1/2 in early trading.

Concerned about the future of Net stocks? TSC is holding a special summit on Friday to discuss the Internet sector. Join columnists James J. Cramer and Herb Greenberg, Andy Kessler of Velocity Capital, Nicholas Moore of Jurika & Voyles, CIBC Oppenheimer's Henry Blodget, Internet Fund manager Ryan Jacob and Brian Salerno of Munder Capital. You'll be able to listen to a live broadcast of the event and later read the transcripts -- but first, help us shape the discussion. Visit

this page for the details.