Nasdaq's Latest? Another Broken Record

SAN FRANCISCO (02/11/2000) - Remember when a 100-point gain in the Nasdaq really meant something? Nowadays, they seem commonplace.

For the fourth time in eight trading days this month, the Nasdaq added more than 100 points and the Internet sector was an active participant in the latest rally. Internet Index closed up 30.66, or 2.7 percent, at 1177.50. That basically matched the 2.8 percent gain in the Nasdaq, which added 122.39 points to 4485.63. It almost goes without saying that the Nasdaq reached yet another record. The Dow continued its recent slide, falling 55.53, or 0.52 percent, to 10643.63.

There were no further reports of cybervandalism Thursday, but that didn't stop investors from scrambling to buy a number of Internet security firms for the second straight session, though some fell prey to profit-taking. SonicWall finished up 26.25, or 36 percent, at 99; Internet Security Systems closed up 10.81, or 13 percent, at 92.56; VeriSign closed up 24.94, or 13 percent, at 219.75; and Check Point Software closed up 32.25, or 22 percent, at 180.25.

Digital Island, which was mentioned in The Wall Street Journal in a story on Web site security, closed up 7.44, or 7 percent, at 109. The company claims it can distinguish between legitimate requests and suspicious traffic designed to shut down a Web site.

It was a tougher trade in both WatchGuard and Axent, which saw decent-sized profit-taking. WatchGuard finished up 0.88 at 50, though it traded as high as 65. And Axent finished down 0.31 at 27.94 after trading as high as 33.

Among Thursday's other top performers today was Network Solutions, which closed up 36.31, or 14 percent, at 292.31 after reporting earnings before the bell.

Earnings of 25 cents a share beat the 23-cent estimate. Revenue of $75.9 million compared to $31.3 million a year ago. The company said it registered a record 1.6 million new Internet addresses in the quarter.

Internet infrastructure plays continued to flourish on hopes for a strong first quarter after many companies delayed technology investments toward the end of last year due to Y2K. Juniper Networks closed up 23.5, or 13 percent, at 208.5, while Redback Networks finished up 14.5, or 7 percent, at 223.

But gains in infrastructure and business-to-business plays have come at the expense of business-to-consumer firms' stocks. Among the day's losers were, down 4.06, or 5 percent, at 76.19;, down 2.19, or 3.7 percent, at 56.25; eBay down 1.63, or 1 percent, at 162.38; and eToys, down 0.56, or 3.6 percent, at 15.19.

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