Interest-Rate Worries Weigh Down Net Sector

However, Ameritrade heads up after canceling a stock sale, and Ask Jeeves sees green after reporting better-than-expected earnings.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet stocks haven't been spared from interest-rate concerns, which have pummeled the rest of the stock market this morning.

Losses have been triggered by a stronger-than-expected

Employment Cost Index

report, which has increased fears that the

Federal Reserve

could raise interest rates again in the near future. With high valuations, Internet stocks are sensitive to interest-rate fluctuations.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was recently trading down 15.41, or 2.6%, at 568.91, but the index already had bounced back from a low of 561.97.

Among the hardest hit have been many of the industry bellwethers.

America Online

(AOL)

was bouncing around the 100 level, recently trading down 3 5/16, or 3%, at 99 7/16.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

also was in danger of slipping below the 100 level, recently trading down 4 1/2, or 4%, at 101 1/4.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was off 4 1/2, or 3%, at 138 1/2.

Shares of

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

were trading higher early after the company canceled its planned $250 million stock sale late Wednesday due to "current market conditions." It will instead sell $200 million of debt convertible into shares. The new debt is expected to be priced today.

Another stock on the rise was

Ask Jeeves

(ASKJ)

after the company reported earnings Wednesday. It was up 2 15/16, or 6.7%, at 47. Ask Jeeves reported a loss of 4 2 cents a share for its second quarter, 3 cents better than the

First Call

estimate. Quarterly sales were $2.7 million, compared with $35,000 in the year-ago period. Page views for the question-and-answer Web site in the quarter were 269 million, compared with 155 million in the first quarter.