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Net stocks keep on rising

Internet stocks continue climbing, with Amazon.com, CNET, EarthLink, and MindSpring leading the way.

    Internet stocks continued climbing today, with Amazon.com, CNET, and Net access providers EarthLink and MindSpring leading the way.

    Perhaps fueled by last week's initial public offering by Broadcast.com, which jumped from $18 a share to close at $62.75 a share on its first day of trading, today's Internet frenzy saw shares of online book and music retailer Amazon.com jump nearly 15 percent, to $137.5 per share. The stock has traded as high as 143.75 and as low as 11.625 during the past 52 weeks. The company is expected to announce its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

    Shares in CNET: The Computer Network closed up nearly 30 percent at 70.25 on news that four executives from NBC will step in to lead CNET's portal site, Snap. NBC agreed to make a $26 million investment in Snap last month. (CNET is the publisher of NEWS.COM).

    Also today, EarthLink stock spiked 8 percent, finishing at 85.8125. Stock in competing ISP MindSpring rose by more than 12 percent, to close the day at 116.6875.

    Other Internet stocks also rode investor confidence in online ventures today. America Online, for example, closed up more than 6 percent at 136.125, marking a new 52-week high for the online giant. The previous high was 128.

    Internet search engines Excite and Yahoo also gained today. Excite shares closed up 7 percent at 94.75, while Yahoo gained more than ten points to finish at 196.3125.

    CMG Information Services, which owns a stake in Internet directory Lycos, was up today as well. The company gained more than 14 percent to close at 82.75, a new 52-week high.

    Other Net stocks that posted gains today include Netscape, Real Networks, Verio, and CDnow.

    After the stock market closed, CDnow posted a second-quarter loss of $8.9 million, or 55 cents a share, wider than the loss of 13 cents a share reported for the same period a year ago but ahead of Wall Street's estimates. The company's revenue increased to $11.6 million, nearly 300 percent higher than a year ago. Wall Street expected CDnow to post a loss of 60 cents a share.

    The Nasdaq Composite Index, loaded with technology companies, extended its string of record closes to nine today by finishing up 5.49 at 2,014.25.

    Blue-chip stocks bucked the trend today, ending lower as jittery investors showed their usual caution ahead of comments on the economy by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 42.22 points lower at 9,295.75, following Friday's record close. In the broad market, declining issues led advances 17 to 11 on moderate volume of 558 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

    "I think we're on hold today for a couple of reasons," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany. "People [were] waiting to see what kind of earnings IBM [would] report and also [are] waiting for Greenspan's talk tomorrow."

    IBM reported a small rise in quarterly profits that nudged past analysts' expectations, but its revenues were flat as it continues to be affected by pricing pressure and turmoil in Asia. Big Blue closed the day up 1.5625 at 121.75.

    Reuters contributed to this report.