Weak Bonds, Greenspan Keep the Heat on Net Stocks

Mortgage.com, Redback and DoubleClick slumped, but the sector as a whole was showing signs it could bounce back in late trading.
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Weakness in Treasuries kept the heat on Internet stocks at midafternoon, though losses were relatively well contained. But there were signs that the Net sector might rally late in the day.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was recently trading up 1.56, or 0.3%, at 578.01 after trading as low as 570.68. The recovery has set the stage for a late-day rally, perhaps after bond futures close at 3 p.m. EDT.

Jim Benning, stock trader with

BT Brokerage

, said as long as many of the Internet stocks do not have earnings, they will remain "extremely sensitive" to the fluctuations in interest rates. "The hope is three or four years down the road they'll have earnings, but if you buy a Treasury note today you'll get paid interest once a month."

Benning said

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan's

speech today in Jackson Hole, Wyo., also created some uneasiness in the market, and with prices up the past few weeks, people were booking some profits. Benning said the week preceding Labor Day is generally a positive one for the market, though the focus could remain with Treasuries and the economy. The August employment report is due out next Friday.

A number of Net stocks that have recently performed well were among the weaker plays today, though an early dip actually found buyers waiting.

Mortgage.com

(MDCM)

, which nearly tripled in price this week, was off 3/4, or 5%, at 14 5/8, but had recovered from a low of 12 5/16.

Redback Networks

(RBAK)

, which has been nothing short of a sensation this month, was down 7 11/16, or 6%, at 119 1/2.

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

, which has gone from a low of 60 1/2 on Aug. 5 to a high of 109 3/4 on Thursday, was down 2 13/16, or 3%, at 103 1/8, but traded as low as 99 15/16.

But there also were some notable exceptions, many of which have been hot this week.

Net.B@nk

(NTBK)

, the subject of buyout rumors, was up 2, or 8%, at 26 9/16.

Phone.com

(PHCM)

was up 12, or 10%, at 127.