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Net Stocks Keep Rocking After Blodget's E-Shopping Comments

The Merrill Lynch analyst's upbeat comments about Net stocks have helped send the DOT index up 3%.

The Internet sector continued to roll at midday, helping to keep the Nasdaq in positive territory. Internet Sector

index was up 16.57, or 3%, at 574.43. Gains among Net stocks were lifting the Nasdaq to a small gain. Losses in other indices that have stemmed from dollar weakness were likely keeping Net stocks from advancing even further.

Internet stocks have been in rally mode for the past week but got yet another boost today when

Merrill Lynch

analyst Henry Blodget published his "1999 Holiday Basket" of eight Internet

stocks while also upgrading his outlook for the Internet sector.

"We continue to believe that Q4 will be a strong quarter for the leading B2C

business to consumer Internet stocks, as the market moves out of the summer doldrums and investors begin to focus on Q4 seasonal strength in the three major B2C value drivers: traffic, advertising and commerce," he wrote. "Although we are still marooned in August, Santa's sleigh ride is only five months away -- and this year, we think he'll be doing a lot of his shopping online."

All eight of the stocks in the basket were trading higher today, with bellwethers

America Online






(AMZN) - Get Free Report

leading the charge. Blodget upped his intermediate-term ratings on both Yahoo! and Amazon to buy from accumulate. AOL was up 3 7/8, or 4%, at 101 3/8; Amazon was up 7, or 6%, at 116 1/4 and Yahoo! was up 7 1/4, or 5%, at 146 3/8.



was another company on Blodget's list, and it was up 4 7/8, or 4%, at 120 7/8.

Among the day's other big winners was


(EBAY) - Get Free Report

, up 9 11/16, or 8%, at 127 7/16. The stock has gained around 30 points this week, on top of the 20 it advanced last week after holding an analysts' meeting that helped allay fears of further technical problems at the site. Shorts that jumped on the stock because of those problems have been squeezed hard.

eBay rival



was making a move of its own, up 7 1/2, or 39%, at 26 7/8. Gains have come despite the uBid site being down for part of the day today. A person that answered the phone at the company's headquarters in Illinois around 1 p.m. EDT said the site had been down at least since he came in at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Also among the leading gainers was


(INOD) - Get Free Report

, a provider of Internet and online data conversion and content management services, up 7 5/8, or 51%, at 22 5/8. The company said today it would split its stock 3-for-1 and authorized the purchase of up to $1 million of its common stock from time to time in market transactions. A company official said with only 1.5 million shares outstanding, the split was expected to provide greater liquidity.