Riding a slew of positive press, online brokerage houses are on a tear again today.

The latest piece of news came in today's

New York Times

, which indicated that lesser-known online brokerage firms are helping to shape the business of buying and selling of stocks as much as larger big-name firms. This follows a report last week by

Credit Suisse First Boston

that online trading averaged 340,000 trades a day, a 34% increase from the second quarter.

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

has led the way, up around 25% today -- reaching an all-time high of 104 3/4.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

also traded to a record high of 66 1/2 today. The stock had a 2-for-1 split that took effect today. Ameritrade announced Jan. 25 it would split its shares 2-for-1 on Feb. 5.

"The report has gotten a lot of coverage," says Bill Burnham, e-commerce analyst at CS First Boston. "It's validated the market and highlighted the extraordinary growth these companies have seen."

Burnham says there have been rumors of

Toronto-Dominion Bank's

(TD) - Get Report

Waterhouse Securities

being interested in Ameritrade, though he notes that those rumors are old. CS First Boston did underwriting for the Ameritrade IPO in 1997.

Oracle, Cisco In The News

Also in the news today is

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, which is up 3 5/16 at 58 11/16 after announcing a 3-for-2 stock split. The split will be paid on Feb. 26 for shareholders of record as of Feb. 10.

Shares of

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

are surging ahead of the company's earnings report on Tuesday. Cisco reached an all-time high of 114 9/16 and was trading near that level around midsession. Cisco is expected to report earnings of 35 cents a share, according to

First Call

.

Also,

Inso

(INSO)

was down more than 60% after forecasting a fourth-quarter and full-year loss and saying it will restate figures for the first three quarters of 1998 to reverse about $7 million in revenue reported previously. Analysts projected the company would earn 23 cents a share in the fourth quarter and 44 cents for the full year.