SAN FRANCISCO -- How's Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) doing in its first day of trading? The answer: so far, a smashing success.
The widely anticipated debut of Ask Jeeves, a question-answering search engine, was a runaway hit. It was priced at 14 Wednesday and opened at 72. It recently was trading up 51 1/8, or around 365%, at 74. As the only search engine of its kind with easy-to-understand technology, the IPO was expected to have mass appeal.
While the heat in the Internet sector can be partly attributed to a recent string of well-received IPOs, several deals and agreements announced today have also accounted for much of the activity.
were sharply higher after the business Web site operator said it had acquired three Web site communities to provide business-to-business e-commerce to its site. VerticalNet now has 43 Web properties. The new acquisitions were
for the machine-tools community,
for electrical power industry professionals and
for members of the oil and gas industry. VerticalNet was up 11 1/8, or 11%, at 116 1/8 around midday.
said it will provide
with technology that will allow it to support RealNetworks' RealAudio G2 format.
This deal marks RealNetworks' entrance into the interactive television market and also shows that the company is making efforts to get along with Microsoft. The two companies have a long history of
antagonism toward each other. RealNetworks was thriving on the news, up 8, or 12%, at 76 7/8. Microsoft was down 1/4, or 0.3%, at 89 15/16.
was one of the best-performing Internet stocks after the Net portal said it would offer online financial services through
, a subsidiary of
. The deal could be worth as much as $135 million to Lycos if performance thresholds are met. Lycos was up 10, or 11%, at 101 7/8. Bank One was up 3/4, or 1%, at 66 5/16.
In another transaction in financial services,
said it was buying
, an online payment-authorization service for e-business. The deal was worth $90.5 million in stock and cash. Go2Net was down 3 3/4, or 4%, at 88 1/8 on the news.
, the online community devoted to women, said it bought
Online Psychological Services
for $1.35 million in cash and $23.5 million in stock. iVillage was down 1 5/16, or 3%, at 48 15/16.
started a rumor that
might be purchased by either
. About.com was up 3 15/16, or 8% at 55 13/16, after trading as low as 23 on June 15.