Net Stocks Extend Losses, but Not by Much

The Internet sector stayed depressed today amid concerns the Fed might boost interest rates. AOL slumped on rumors of a negative press report.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Interest-rate jitters continued to drag down the Internet sector. After a brief early push higher, Net stocks closed mostly lower, though losses were not as extensive as in recent sessions.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index closed down 6.35, or 1.1%, at 556.09, leaving it more than 35 points lower on the week. The DOT traded in positive territory briefly this morning, but spent much of the day on the downside.

There were further interest-rate concerns with Treasuries once again trading

lower. Fears that the Fed will raise interest rates again in August were sparked on Thursday following a strong

Employment Cost Index

report. Internet stocks are hurt by rising interest rates because the present value of their future earnings falls as rates rise.

As could be expected, many of the interest rate-sensitive Net stocks continued to post losses today.

Teleb@nc Financial

(TBFC)

closed down 1 13/16, or 6%, at 29 1/16, while

Net.B@nk

(NTBK)

finished off 1 3/4, or 7.5%, at 21 1/2. Online brokerages also remained weak.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

ended down 1 7/8, or 6%, at 30 1/8, while

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

closed down 1 3/4, or 7%, at 24 15/16.

And there was no relief for the beaten up Net bellwethers.

CNBC

was reporting late in the day that there were rumors that

Barron's

would be printing a negative story on

AOL

(AOL)

. AOL finished down 3 1/2, or 3.5%, at 95 1/4.

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

closed down 4 9/16, or 4.5%, at 97 11/16 and

priceline.com

(PCLN)

closed down 4 15/16, or 6%, at 75 9/16.

Shares of

Network Solutions

(NSOL)

also continued to suffer, closing down 5 3/16, or 7.7%, at 62 1/4.

Reuters

reported today that the company today denied claims that it had a monopoly over Internet domain names. On Thursday, the

European Commission

said it had begun an informal investigation into Network Solutions' licensing contracts over the registry of Internet domain names.