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Wit Capital Bounds Higher as Net Stocks Rise

Strong Treasuries and a recovery in America Online give the sector a lift.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Treasury-market strength and a recovery in America Online (AOL) lifted Internet stocks in a thinly traded session.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index closed up 13.88, or 2.4%, at 582.32. The rebound came amid gains in the Treasury market ahead of the start of the

Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee

meeting on Tuesday. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates when its meeting concludes on Wednesday, and there has been some talk about a post-FOMC rally.

Volume in the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was thin, however, and likely contributed to the gains. Internet stocks may also have benefited from the appearance of many high-profile companies at an Internet conference hosted by

Thomas Weisel Partners

in Colorado.

While America Online was slipping below the 100 level in midday trading, TheStreet.com index also traded to a low of 558.57. But AOL saw good support at its session low of 98 and was able to come back to close up 1, or 1%, at 103 13/16. Dick Dickson, technical analyst with

Scott and Stringfellow

, said AOL bounced back after testing support at its June 15 high of 97 5/8.

The recovery in the sector also provided a lift to shares of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report

. The online auctioneer's Web site had technical problems earlier

today. eBay reached a low of 127 1/2 before bouncing back. It closed up 4 1/16, or 3%, at 140 1/16.

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Not able to capitalize on the comeback was

Healtheon

(HLTH)

.

Barron's

reported this week that

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

was looking to sell a portion of its stake in privately held

WebMD

before WebMD's merger with Healtheon was completed. The article stated that Microsoft would sell a stake in WebMD equivalent to around 1.8 million shares of Healtheon for $52 a share, far below where Healtheon was trading.

Healthon closed down 7 15/16, or 10%, at 72 3/8. Microsoft closed up 1 13/16, or 2%, at 86 3/4.

Online broker

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation Report

closed down 2, or 2%, at 83 1/2 on news that the company filed a $250 million offering with the

SEC

.