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Online Brokers Lead Net's Recovery

Also, analyst Mark Edelstone upgrades Rambus stock and pushes up its price target.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet stocks have been mostly higher today after recent rate-hike worries, and the sector seems to be improving as the day progresses. Internet Sector

index was up 36.76, or 6.6%, at 590.22 in the early afternoon, continuing to bounce back from last week's low of 528.19.

Benefiting from the lessened concerns over interest

rates are the online brokerages.



was up 3, or 8%, at 40 11/16. The company said that its


online investment banking firm has launched its Web site, providing E*Trade customers the opportunity to buy initial public offerings.



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was up 5 3/8, or 7%, at 86 9/16, and



was up 3 7/8, or 4%, at 104 7/8.



has been one of the leading point-gainers on the


. It was up 8 3/4, or 9%, at 103.


, which provides outsourced Web hosting and is a majority-owned subsidiary of CMGI, said that it had signed strategic agreements with


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In connection with the agreements, Dell and Microsoft have made investments for a 4.9% and 4.4% interest in NaviSite, respectively. Dell was up 1 7/16, or 4%, at 35 5/16, while Microsoft was up 15/16, or 1%, at 80 1/2.

Network Solutions


was little changed on the day it finally begins to face some competition. Privately held

is the first entrant to compete with Network Solutions in the domain-registry business following an April

decision by the

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

that opened the field to four additional companies besides and Network Solutions. Network Solutions was up 7/8, or 2%, at 52 5/8.

One reason why Network Solutions is not seeing a negative reaction is that the competition has been known for some time. In addition, registrars must pay a one-time $10,000 fee to Network Solutions to license the software that the company developed to allow access to the shared-registration system. Network Solutions is also allowed to charge the competing registrars a $9 fee for each domain name that it enters into the registry database.

Rambus Still Rolling


(RMBS) - Get Rambus Inc. Report

was one of the top performers on the Nasdaq today after the stock was upgraded to strong buy from outperform by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. It was up 7 1/8, or 10%, at 80.

In a note today, analyst Mark Edelstone said that the upgrade reflects "our belief that


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820 (code-named Camino) chipset will be ready to support Rambus DRAM-based PC introductions before the end of the third quarter." Edelstone said he increased his price target to 150, more than double Friday's closing price, because "the risk factor associated with the initial

Rambus DRAM transition has declined." Morgan Stanley has done underwriting for Rambus.

However, one analyst

said back in December that Rambus' future potential already was built into its stock price when the company was trading around 94.