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Market Close: Internet stocks wilt

Internet stocks were pounded again Friday as the Nasdaq composite dropped another 37 points to 2,448.05. Interest-rate worries helped push the Dow down 131 points to close at 10.489.51 in very light trading.

The Commerce Department reported that the Producer Price Index in May rose just 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy the index was up 0.1 percent, in line with analysts' estimates.

"I see interest rates moving higher this morning and they (Internet shares) are very sensitive to that, because of high valuations and lack of earnings at many companies," said Philip Tasho, managing director for equity strategy at Riggs Investment Management Corp. in Washington.

CMGi shares plunged 11 3/4 to 89 3/4 after posting what appeared to be a wider-than-expected loss of 29 cents a share in its third quarter.

However, discounting revenues from recent acquisitions, one-time gains, and in-process R&D charges, CMGi lost roughly 22 cents a share -- in line with adjusted consensus estimates, the company said.

Online auction house eBay (EBAY) fell 16 13/16 to 165 7/8 following its second website failure in as many days.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shed 9 1/2 to 135 1/4 while Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and America Online Inc. (AOL) lost 10 1/8 and 5 11/16 a share, respectively.

Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) closed off 2 1/2 to 44 1/2.

Hardware stocks weren't safe either as Intel Corp. (INTC) dropped 15/16 to 64 7/16 and IBM Corp. (IBM) shaved off 1/4 to 115. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) fell 9/16 to close at 16 13/16.

National Semiconductor (NSM) closed off 7/8 to 21 5/8 after the chipmaker reported fourth quarter results in line with analyst estimates, and predicted profitability by the second quarter of the current fiscal year. The company also said it is negotiating with potential buyers of its Cyrix unit.

J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded National Semiconductor to "buy" from "market perform". Josephthal & Lyon downgraded the chipmaker to "hold" from "buy".

Phone.com (PHCM) exploded up 24 1/8 to 40 1/8 in its initial public offering.

Harbinger Corp. (HRBC) shot up 2 5/16 to 12 3/4 after the maker of e-commerce software said it expects to report second quarter results as good or better as analysts expected.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) trimmed 5/16 to 34 3/16; Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) dipped 1/16 to 22 1/4; Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) lost 1 11/16 to 46 7/16 and Gateway Inc. (GTW) added 2 9/16 to 61 3/8.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) lost 1 3/4 to 78 1/8 while Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) closed off 3/4 and 1/8 a share, respectively.

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