New Entrants Set a Stronger Pace for Net Sector

The quick ascent of recent Internet IPOs has given renewed energy to the sector.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- After stumbling across a rough patch, Internet IPOs seem to have righted themselves once again, contributing to recent strength in the sector. While investors have been pickier about just which companies they are buying, the IPO madness seen earlier this year has returned in a select number of new offerings.

A prime example is

Ask Jeeves

(ASKJ)

. The question-answering search engine

soared an incredible 364% in its first day of trading Thursday. It recently was up 3 1/8, or 5%, at 68 1/16.

And

Clarent

(CLRN)

, an Internet telecommunications software company, which also had a successful debut Thursday, was back on the rise today. It was up 10 15/16, or 43%, at 36 7/16.

Clarent may be benefiting from last week's strong market entry of

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

, a network equipment maker. It was priced at 34 and traded as high as 162 Thursday before seeing some profit-taking. It recently was down 7 1/4, or 5%, at 138 3/4.

Another recent IPO that took off today was

GoTo.com

(GOTO)

. On Thursday, GoTo.com said it had entered into an agreement with

America Online's

(AOL)

Netscape

division to become a leading search provider for Netscape's Net Search program search engine. GoTo.com was up 12, or 33%, at 48 1/2. AOL was up 1 7/8, or 2%, at 114.

After a mediocre first week, shares of

Stamps.com

(STMP) - Get Report

have soared the past two days after the company said it had entered an agreement with

MySoftware

(MYSW)

to use Stamps.com postage technology in its small-business software. Stamps.com was up 9 1/16, or 41%, at 31 5/16, while MySoftware was up 2 7/8, or 18%, at 18 7/8.

In other news, shares of

Onsale

(ONSL)

were trading up 4 3/4, or 26%, at 23 3/8. A rumor is circulating that

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

may be interested in buying the online auctioneer and retailer for $30 a share, and gains may be causing a short squeeze. But as a recent

story on

TheStreet.com

indicated, historically, Amazon.com has invested in private companies and ones without an established consumer brand. And as Amazon.com expands into new areas, it usually expands alone. Amazon was down 5/16 to 122 1/16.