Thanks alot for your post but I'm pretty sure I am not inftected. I run quck scans of Malwarebytes Antimalware periodically and it always results with no malware detected. My system is fairly new and because of previous experiences that necessitated help from the good crew of geeks to go! to disinfect my old system, I now do my best to practice good computer hygiene.
As stated in my OP, the problem manifested itself right after I installed the then beta version of IE9. I have also read elsewhere others have experienced the same issue after installing IE9. I uninstalled IE9 but the problem remains. I just installed the new RC of IE9 but nothing has changed either.
So I am wondering if anyone has had the same experience, or even better yet, found a solution???