Momentum, the killer app, misplaced euphoria, a new era -- people have come up with plenty of reasons why some stocks turn into highfliers.

But what are the dynamics behind these moves? What is it that makes investors happy to go into a stock that was up 10% yesterday and bid it up another 10% today? And another 10% tomorrow?

This week, we're taking a look at

Protein Design Labs

(PDLI) - Get Report

and

VerticalNet

(VERT)

, as well as asking some technical analysts if there is anything to be gleaned from a highflier's chart -- other than the existence of a parabola.