SAN FRANCISCO -- While the stock market was digesting this morning's employment report, the Internet sector was already looking ahead to next week, when the second-quarter earnings season begins.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was up 9.27, or 1.5%, at 649.42 early on.
, which traditionally kicks off the earnings season for Net stocks and reports next Wednesday, was up 1/2, or 0.3%, at 177 3/4 in early trading today. It has gained around 30 points this week in advance of the report, expected to come in at 8 cents a share, according to
In his weekly Web report,
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
analyst Keith Benjamin said he expects to see "evidence of improving fundamentals and further stock progress" with the upcoming earnings reports. But Benjamin wrote that he does not expect "many new highs will be reached, with investors holding back in fear of a slow August."
In somewhat related news, a
story today claims that users of the Internet are shunning portals like Yahoo!,
and jumping right to specialty sites. The story quoted numbers from
showing portal traffic by U.S. home users rose only 5% from March to May. Lycos was down 1 3/8, or 1% at 101 early on.
Other stocks in the news today include
, which provides high-speed Internet access. According to
, some of Excite@Home's users in the San Francisco area have had slow download speeds or have had no service at all since early May. The story says
, Excite@Home's largest shareholder, will offer five months of free service to more than 1,000 customers because of the latest problems. Excite@Home was off 11/16, or 1%, at 54 1/4 early on.
was extending gains made Thursday after it announced an agreement to provide
with technology allowing it to support RealNetworks' RealAudio G2 format. RealNetworks rose 13% on the
news Thursday, but the story was featured on
this morning. It was up 9 1/8, or 12%, at 87. Microsoft was down 7/16, or 0.5%, at 90 3/4.