Faster than a high-speed access line, the Net sector turned around today after getting over the shock of the early release of some economic data.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index closed up 14.02, or 2.5%, at 565.82. It was a sharp turnaround from the session low of 539.93 made following the inadvertent release of the
National Association of Purchasing Managers'
report. The combination of an early release and strong numbers put pressure on
Treasuries, but once bonds stabilized and began to bounce back, the Net sector rebounded as well, and momentum trading took things higher in a hurry.
"I think it was bargain hunting more than anything," said Barry Hyman, senior market analyst with
Ehrenkratz King Nussbaum
. Hyman said there may also have been some end-of-the-month squaring and program trading that benefited
stocks as the two indices broke ways late in the day.
The move may have been technically related as well. The DOT traded below the 543 level, which was roughly a 38% correction from the 150-point move from the August lows to the August highs. Program traders may have been looking for that correction before stepping in to buy.
The turnaround was strong in the bellwethers and typified movement elsewhere in the sector.
found support near its 40-day moving average when it traded as low as 112 3/16 mid-session, closing up 5 1/8, or 4%, at 124 3/8.
bounced back from a low of 139 1/4 to end up 3 11/16, or 3%, at 147 1/2.
underperformed, closing down 1 7/8, or 2%, at 91 3/8.
Also among stocks of note,
benefited from news of an alliance with AOL, closing up 6 1/8, or 5%, at 125 9/16. The companies launched a co-branded site today on AOL designed to provide AOL members access to eBay's site.
Other big winners included
Internet Capital Group
, a holding company with ownership positions in 36 business-to-business e-commerce firms. It closed up 16 1/8, or 27%, at 75.
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating, while
Banc of America
began coverage with a market perform rating. Both did underwriting for ICG. According to
, ICG has a market cap of $9.24 billion, which would put it above the $8.0 billion for Net venture capitalist