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Net stocks fly on @Home, Excite deal

Internet issues such as Lycos and Infoseek rise like a rocket, fueled by @Home's buyout of Excite--but investors may find the ride short-lived, analysts say.

Internet stocks rose like a rocket today, fueled by @Home's $6.7 billion buyout of Excite. But investors may find the ride short-lived, analysts say.

Excite rose nearly 63 percent to close at 110 per share today, up 42.5 points. Competitor Lycos jumped 28.5 percent to close at 112.9375, up 25.0625, while News.com publisher CNET: The Computer Network climbed 36.64 percent to finish the day at 99.75, up 26.75.

Online travel site Preview Travel rose 14.44 percent to end the day at 25.75, up 3.25 points, and portal Infoseek climbed nearly 8 percent to close at 77.0625, up 5.6875 points.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 59.97 points to close at 2408.15 today, setting another 52-week high.

"Any time there is a major announcement in the Internet space that helps to validate the industry or show the scarcity of players, it tends to get all the stocks going," said Andrea Williams, an analyst with Volpe Brown Whelan. "What we saw today was speculation on additional consolidations."

She added she anticipates more mergers and an increase in partnerships involving Web portals and high-speed access providers.

But before investors prepare to see a retake of today's events tomorrow, analysts caution that may not be the case.

"The pattern over the last couple of months is that [the stocks] can give up some of their gains in a matter of hours in a day, rather than over a matter of weeks like last year," Williams said.

The general trend is for stocks to rise as the merger news is announced, followed by a sell-off as investors take in profits.

Although the Internet stocks are expected to give up some gains from today, their volatility has been on the upward trend, Williams said.