Internet stocks fell in a general market downturn Monday as the Nasdaq composite sank a historic low, down 140 points as the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 500 points. In early trading the Nasdaq reversed course to knock the wind out of Web stocks.
Amazon.com was taking the biggest hit. Merrill Lynch's Jonathan Cohen began coverage with a near-term "reduce" and a long-term "neutral" rating for Amazon.com. Cohen didn't return calls.
Online radio broadcaster Broadcast.com Inc. (Nasdaq:BCST) fell 2 5/8 to 35 1/4 and Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq:INKT) lost 18 percent to 40, down 9. Inktomi licenses software that speeds information from the Internet to the user. Search engine company Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) dropped 7 1/4 to 61 3/4.
Web-related businesses require a great deal of capital to get up and running and go through long periods of losses before turning a profit. Amazon.com is expected to be in the black by 2000, according to BancAmercica Robertson Stephens analyst Keith Benjamin.