E-Commerce Stocks Skid Lower

Plus, good news from the online brokerage industry.
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Profit-taking continued to hit e-commerce stocks this morning, and some of the biggest names have been among the hardest hit in early trading.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was off 13 9/16, or 4%, at 322 in early trading after sliding 18 points on Monday.

After dropping more than 15 points Monday,

broadcast.com

was off 10 15/16, or 7.2%, at 140 1/2. Price action wasn't helped by published reports that

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

has filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to sell as many as 277,500 of the shares it owns in broadcast.com. Intel was one of the early investors in broadcast.com in December 1997.

Shares of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

were off 7 7/8, or 3%, at 254 1/8. They have fallen around 60 points since hitting a high of 314 on Jan. 27.

Online Brokers Also See Profit-Taking

The news on online brokerage firms is positive, so investors are taking profits.

Bill Burnham, e-commerce analyst at

Credit Suisse First Boston

, this morning published a report indicating that online trading volume during January was running 25% to 50% higher than the record pace set in last year's fourth quarter, according to spot checks with industry sources. Average daily share volumes of Internet stocks were 22.4% higher in January than in the fourth quarter.

"Everyone has told me that volumes have been incredibly high," said Burnham. "People are just trading like madmen."

Gains seen on Monday and Friday in online brokerage firms were attributed to positive reports from CS First Boston along with a story in

The New York Times

that indicated smaller online brokerages were playing a larger role in the way stocks are traded.

Likely contributing to the gains was a squeeze on short positions.

Siebert Financial Group

(SIEB) - Get Report

, which has a float of around 600,000, traded 3.2 million shares Monday, when it gained around 50%. Siebert was up 6, or 31%, at 25 1/8 after adding 6 5/8 yesterday.

Meanwhile

E*Trade

(EGRP)

was off 4 1/16, or 6.5%, at 58 3/8, while

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

was off 5 1/4, or 5%, at 99 3/4 after trading to a high of 110 1/2 on Monday.

Rambus Bucking the Trend

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

was one of the big winners early, up 6 1/4, or 8.4%, at 81 1/8 after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded the company to outperform from neutral.

Also,

Tut Systems

(TUTS)

added another 7 points in early trading. Tut Systems was priced at 18 last Thursday in its initial public offering. Shares of the equipment maker were trading around 78 today.

And

MovieFone

(MOFN)

was up more than 20% after news late Monday that

America Online

(AOL)

agreed to buy the company.