Things got back to normal today as the Nasdaq set a new record, volume soared and some sectors that have recently been market darlings were sweet as pie again.

After blowing away the

Nasdaq Composite Index

and the

Russell 2000

yesterday, things were back to what passes as normal in the market today as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

S&P 500

lagged their resurgent index siblings, despite posting solid advances.

Leading the way among major stock proxies percentage-wise was the Russell 2000, which soared 20.03, or 3.6%, to 577.71, and closed at an all-time high. Analysts pointed out that the Russell's advance was helped in part by gains in components like

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

, which qualified for small-cap status last year when the Russell went through its annual makeover, is a small-fry no more.

BroadVision now boasts a market cap of about $20 billion, hardly qualifying it as a small-cap. Analysts have noted that a good portion of the Russell's advance recently has been thanks to moves in its "big-cap" members like BroadVision.

The Nasdaq Comp hopped 118.84, or 2.6%, to 4696.69, and closed at an all-time high, its 12th of the year. The Nasdaq also set a volume record with roughly 2.07 billion shares changing hands. It was the second time volume has topped 2 billion on the Nasdaq.

Nuclear-fueled

3Com

(COMS)

soared ahead of the initial public offering of its

Palm

(PALM)

division, which raised its price range to $30-$32 a share from the original $14-$16 a share. 3Com plans to shed the remainder of its Palm holdings -- about 532 million shares -- by distributing them to existing shareholders. 3Com hopped 18 15/16, or 24%, to 98.

Semiconductor stocks exploded higher on some bullish analyst actions on the sector. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

soared 9.8%.

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

soared an eye-popping 60 5/8, or 25.2%, to 301 5/8.

Rambus said that

Hyundai

and

Infineon

are joining

Samsung

,

NEC

and

Toshiba

in volume production of Rambus memory products. Rambus was the biggest point gainer on the Nasdaq today.

The

Nasdaq 100

surged 2.5% to 4266.94.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index rallied 28.31, or 2.5%, to 1182.86. The aforementioned BroadVision was the biggest power behind the DOT's surge. BroadVision soared 19 1/2, or 8.4%, to 252 9/16.

TheStreet.com New Tech 30

jumped 28.88, or 3.7%, to 810.99. The TSC New Tech 30, unveiled Jan. 5, is a market-cap-weighted index focused on tracking the most scorching part of the market, the magnet for Wall Street's hot money. A list of the index components is available at

http://www.thestreet.com/newtech/.

Big gains in telecommunications and biotech stocks -- along with the whopping advance in semiconductor issues -- also helped juice up the Comp. The

Nasdaq Telecommunications Index

rallied 1.8%, while the

Nasdaq Biotechnology Index

gained 4%.

"You can't deny the trend in the Nasdaq," said Paul Cherney, market analyst at

S&P MarketScope

. Cherney was heartened by the positive breadth in the Nasdaq. "Right now, I can't do anything but be positive on the Nasdaq."

The analyst, however, was less sanguine about the Dow, echoing skepticism on Wall Street yesterday about the blue-chip average's rally.

"We're having a glorified short-covering rally," which typically lasts about four days, meaning there might be two more days of gains left after today, said Cherney. The analyst said there is legitimate bargain hunting by value-types going on in the Dow, however, "you can't rule out" an attempt to retest the lows of Friday.

The Dow advanced 89.66, or 0.9%, to 10,128.31.

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

and

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

were the two biggest positive influences on the Dow.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 gained 18.37, or 1.4%, to 1366.42.

More of the Same on the Way

As the market's trailblazers reasserted their leadership after a brief respite, some market strategists see more of the same over the short-term at least.

Over the next week, Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at

Kirlin Holdings

, said he's expecting the old economy stocks to resume their travels to the downside and the new economy stocks to continue with their momentum on the upside.

And you can count Dwyer among those skeptical of the Dow's rebound from its recent awful performance.

Dwyer said the Dow has seen a nice bounce after its recent troubles, highlighted by Friday's close below 10,000. However, he said the volume and breadth of the advance over the last couple of days has not been "too compelling."

"This is a good, oversold rally," Dwyer said, but he doesn't expect it to last because he doesn't think the Dow has bottomed out because it hasn't achieved a climactic low.

Looking ahead, the latter part of the week holds some key events for the market, the strategist said. The

European Central Bank

will get together to discuss interest rates, and on Friday back here in the U.S., the

Labor Department

will release on Friday the February

employment report

. Economists are projecting nonfarm payrolls to rise 206,000, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4%, according to a

Reuters

poll

Economic news today didn't influence trading much in either equities or fixed income. The February

Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index

rose to 56.7 from 55.6 in January. Economists polled by

Reuters

had forecast a rise to 57.5, on average. Meanwhile, the

Conference Board's

Consumer Confidence Index

fell to 141.8 in February from January's record high of 144.7.

Tomorrow, traders will get a look at the

National Association of Purchasing Management's Purchasing Managers' Index

. Economists surveyed by

Reuters

are expecting the index to come in at 56.6.

In the fixed-income world, the 10-year note was flat at 100 19/32, yielding 6.418%, while the 30-year Treasury bond was up 17/32 to 101 11/32, putting its yield at 6.15%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's Bond

Focus.)

Sector-wise in the market, there were a host of winning sectors, reflecting the decidedly positive breadth in the market. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

surged almost 6%; the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

flew 6%; the

S&P Retail Index

soared 3.4%; the

TheStreet.com E-Finance Index

exploded up 9.3%.

In

New York Stock Exchange

trading, 1.2 billion shares were exchanged while advancing stocks beat decliners 1,809 to 1,179. In Nasdaq action, 2.07 billion shares traded while winners defeated losers 2,644 to 1,606. New 52-week lows beat new highs 146 to 80 on the NYSE while new highs beat new lows 415 to 106 in over-the-counter trading.

Among other indices, the

Dow Jones Utility Average

inched up fractionally to 288.48; the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

gained 27.08, or 1.2%, to 2388.86; while the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

rose 8.85, or 0.9%, to 973.23.

For coverage of today's top stocks in the news, see the Company Report, published separately

.