While Pounding Subsides, Pressure Remains on Net Stocks

After hitting an intraday low of 593.58, TheStreet.com Internet Sector index has climbed up slightly, but is still down almost 17 points.
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When it rains, it pours.

Though the pounding of the Internet sector has let up, Net stocks remained under pressure midday in a continuation of Wednesday's late selloff. Traders were getting out of positions, likely because many were leaving due to bad weather in the East or because of

options-related trading. The bottom line: The Net was slumping less than a week after it looked to break out to the upside.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 16.59, or 2.7%, at 600.65 in recent trading. The DOT slid below a key technical level at 600, trading to a low of 593.58 before bouncing back.

Two Internet IPOs debuted today in the eye of the Internet storm and were seeing decent interest.

Garden.com

(GDEN) - Get Report

, which operates three gardening-related Web sites, was up 6 11/16, or 56%, at 18 11/16 in recent trading. Garden.com was one of many IPOs postponed from August due to market conditions.

Also,

Luminant

(LUMT)

, a provider of Internet marketing and e-commerce services, was up 9 5/16, or 51%, at 27 5/16. The market has been infatuated with business-to-business Internet IPOs.

Also on the upside was

China.com

(CHINA)

, up 7 7/8, or 15%, at 60 1/2. The company today responded to concerns that that China would start enforcing its policy prohibiting foreign investment in Net businesses. In a press release, the company said that China.com abides by the rules and regulations in each country in which it operates and that it has a long history of cooperation with the

Ministry of Information Industry

of China.

Shares of

Inktomi

(INKT)

were off 4 21/32, or 4%, at 124 3/4. The company said it had signed an agreement to acquire

WebSpective Software

, a leading provider of content distribution and tracking software. Inktomi will acquire 100% of the outstanding stock and assume all stock options of WebSpective in exchange for shares of Inktomi common stock. The transaction was valued at approximately $106 million. Inktomi expects the deal to close in the next quarter.

theglobe.com

(TGLO)

was off 7/16, or 3%, at 12 7/8. The stock was blasted in a

piece by

TSC

columnist Christopher Byron earlier today.

One Hurricane Floyd-related item:

Nielsen/NetRatings

reported today that from Monday to Wednesday of this week, visitors to

The Weather Channel's

Web site increased 76.4% to approximately 722,000 visitors from 409,000, jumping from No. 17 on the top properties list to No. 10. Average time spent on the site increased from six minutes and 12 seconds to 10 minutes and 26 seconds.

Nielsen/NetRatings also reported that the No. 1 clicked-on ad banner was

VarsityBooks.com's

ad featuring a coupon promotion, which had a 9.4% click rate. VarsityBooks.com is an online college bookstore.