E*Trade Pushes Net Stocks Higher and Microsoft Adds a Late Nudge

The Nasdaq bounces back from Monday's selloff.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Strong results from

E*Trade

(EGRP)

gave Net stocks the boost they needed to bounce back from Monday's woes.

The company reported a loss of 12 cents a share for its fiscal second quarter, beating the Street estimate, which called for a 17-cent loss. Revenue rose to $126.7 million from $88.1 million in the first quarter.

Strength in E*Trade aided other online brokerage stocks:

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

added 18 1/8, or 21%, to 106, and

National Discount Brokerage

(NDB)

rose 13 3/8, or 35%, at 52.

Some were looking for

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

earnings report to provide a stabilizing influence in the technology sector. But tech stocks were able to recover on their own after Monday's selloff, and Microsoft's typical strong earnings could provide further support on Wednesday.

After the bell, Microsoft said it earned $1.92 billion, or 35 cents a share for its fiscal third quarter, beating the

First Call

consensus estimate of 32 cents a share. In the year-earlier period, the company earned $1.3 billion, or 25 cents a share. Revenue climbed to $4.33 billion from $3.77 billion. Ahead of the report, Microsoft was rose 2 3/32, or 2.6%, to close at 83 3/32.

Another factor in the recovery was upgrades of three Internet companies by

Goldman Sachs

. Goldman upgraded

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

,

Exodus

(EXDS)

and

Inktomi

(INKT)

to its recommended list from market outperform.

All three stocks rallied early in the day and appeared to give a sign to investors that it was OK to buy Net stocks again, and it didn't seem to matter to investors that Goldman was an underwriter for all three companies. DoubleClick was up 19 5/8, or 19%, at 123 5/8, while Exodus was up 9 13/16, or 16%, at 71 3/16 and Inktomi was up 25, or 29%, at 114.

In addition,

America Online

(AOL)

was able to shrug off early losses and charge higher.

BT Alex. Brown

reiterated a strong buy on AOL along with

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

, both companies it has down underwriting for. AOL was up 10 1/8, or 8%, at 12l6, while Amazon.com was up 9 7/16, or 6%, at 168 1/2.

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

was up sharply ahead of its earnings

report after the close. It was up 42, or 32%, at 170 5/8, reversing Monday's 41 7/8-point loss.

Also among the top gainers was

VerticalNet

(VERT)

, which said that it was launching a business-to-business web auction site. Businesses will be able to auction off excess inventory or other merchandise and pay a commission to VerticalNet if the items are sold. It was up 19 7/8, or 25%, at 99 7/8.

Shares of

Broadvision

(BVSN) - Get Report

soared following an upgrade by

Friedman Billings Ramsey

to buy from accumulate with a price target of 64. The Internet software company was up 8 1/2, or 23%, at 48 1/8.