MARKET CLOSE: Internets carry tech sector

3 min read

Internet stocks made sharp gains in otherwise sideways trading Monday as the Nasdaq composite sauntered up another 23 points to a record close of 3,392.53. The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 86 points to 11,089.52.

Despite the gains made by the Dow and Nasdaq, trading was choppy across the board. Traders expect this trend to continue through this holiday-shortened trading week.

"We'll see lighter and lighter volume as the week goes on," said Doug Myers, the vice president of equity trading at Wachovia Securities. "On the whole, you're really going to have just sort of a meandering market."

Shares of Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) closed up 3 13/16 to 89 13/16 after Friday's appointment of a mediator for the trial ignited hope of a settlement between the Justice Department and the software company. Richard Posner, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, is the new character in the antitrust drama.

Another development in the case may not have such a rosy effect in the stock; lawyers are expected to file a class action lawsuit against Microsoft on behalf of millions of Californians, according to a Monday report in the New York Times.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) shares closed up 1 5/16 to 77 7/16 and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) fell 3 to 126 9/16.

Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) shot up16 1/4 to 108 1/4 after it announced a 5-year partnership with America Online and said it would make a tracking stock for its Internet gaming business. Warburg Dillon Read also raised its price target on the stock.

America Online Inc. (AOL) shares rallied up 3 11/16 to 102 5/16. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) closed up 8 1/16 to 226 13/16 and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) rose 2 9/16 to 80 1/2.

Excite@Home Corp (Nasdaq: ATHM) said late Sunday it will establish a tracking stock for its media assets in a move it hopes will help maximize the value of both parts of its business. Its shares closed up 5 11/16 to 57. Lycos Inc. (LCOS) rose 1 to 56 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) finished up 8 1/16 to 154.

Xoom.com (Nasdaq: XMCM) shares closed up 6 1/16 to 72 1/16, in a sign that investors my finally be heeding the words of Chris Kitze, the chairman of Xoom.com and soon-to-be CEO of NBCi, who encouraged investors to buy Xoom shares as a proxy for the new NBCi back in May.

Prodigy Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGY) fell 1 1/8 to 31 after it said it will merge Internet operations with SBC Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: SBC), down 1/16 to 51 7/16.

Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq: SCMR) lost 18 1/8 to 245 1/8 after it inked a four-year deal with Williams Communications (NYSE: WCG) where Williams will buy $100 million of Sycamore products each year.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) trimmed 5/8 to 87 1/2 while Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) and 3Com Corp. (COMS) closed off 5/16 and 1 1/8 a share, respectively.

Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS) moved up 1 to 24 as it said it was selling its FlowPoint subsidiary to Efficient Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EFNT), up 17 13/16 to 81 9/16, for about $861 million. Cabletron has also formed an alliance with Efficient to penetrate the DSL market.

Intel Corp. (INTC) inched up 5/8 to 80 1/2. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) lost 3/16 to 26 15/16 and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) ended up 3 15/16 to 107 7/8.