Stock Watch: Utility B2B Deal Boosts Commerce One

Commerce One, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMRC) rose 9 5/16 to 50 5/16 Friday after a group of utilities selected the e-commerce software maker to provide the framework for an industry purchasing exchange.

Pantellos Corp., as the group formed by Reliant Energy and 20 others is called, will use Commerce One’s B2B exchange for purchasing items ranging from transformers to turbines to wire. The for-profit exchange is open to any energy or utility company in the $130 billion industry. Price quotes, job proposals and auctions are among initial services.

The companies expect to cut costs and shorten the wait for purchases by teaming up and making bids online. Other partners in the venture include Carolina Power & Light Co., American Electric Power Co., Consolidated Edison, Inc. and Southern Co.

Also boosting shares of Commerce One and other B2B companies — as well as the Nasdaq on the whole — was a U.S. government report that unemployment rose in May, meaning the economy may be slowing and that the Federal Reserve could be done with interest rate hikes for the time being.

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