E*Trade's Coup

Among Internet stocks, mere rumor can send shares soaring. So when real news hits, look out. On July 13, Net broker E*TRADE's stock rocketed 41%, to 34 1/2, thanks to a $400 million investment by Japan's Softbank. It's not just the money investors liked: Softbank has big stakes in leading Net portal Yahoo! and publisher Ziff-Davis, so E*TRADE can reach millions more potential customers. Plus, the cash will let E*TRADE buy other companies to become a full financial-services destination.

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