Maybe it's the way John Chambers says what he says.

The chief executive of

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

didn't predict a blowout fourth quarter to wrap up the company's fiscal year, and in fact, he cautioned investors to expect little, if any, top-line growth compared with the third quarter.

But that was good enough, because he didn't take down expectations, even as voice and data service providers continue to slash capital spending in an effort to cope with declining demand and falling revenue. Cisco was jumping 20% to $15.69 Wednesday, a day after the networking giant

beat analysts' earnings estimates for the third quarter.

The company's quarterly report and statement approaching an outlook whipped investors into a buying frenzy, and sectors related to telecom and networking were inspiring a massive rally in the overall market, as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.6% and the

Nasdaq skyrocketed 5.6%.

Other once-proud gearmakers were benefiting from the buying spree, at least for a day, but their degraded stock prices reveal just how badly the sector has been beaten down.

Lucent

(LU)

was gaining 8% to $4.65, while

Nortel

(NT)

was climbing 7% to $2.90.

Optical component producer

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

was adding more than 8% to $6.79 and rival

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

was better by 9% to $4.22. Elsewhere,

Extreme Networks

(EXTR) - Get Report

was up 27%,

Juniper

(JNPR) - Get Report

was rising 11%,

Redback

(RBAK)

was up 16%, and

Sycamore

(SCMR)

was adding 12%.

The American Stock Exchange Networking Index was enjoying a 10% gain, and the Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Index was higher by more than 4%.

Beyond the networking group, telecom voice and data service outfits were charging ahead.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

was up 4% to $14.03,

Sprint

(FON)

was rising 7% to $15.90, and

WorldCom

(WCOM)

was tacking on 6% to $2.34. Wireless service providers were also stronger.

Communications chipmakers were among the best-performing issues of the day.

Intersil

(ISIL)

was up 16% to $26.56,

LSI Logic

(LSI) - Get Report

was posting a 14% gain to $12.24, and

Vitesse Semiconductor

(VTSS)

was showing an increase of 23% to $5.88.

All of this, courtesy of Cisco. The company's stock was easily the most actively traded issue of the day, on the Nasdaq or the

New York Stock Exchange. With two hours gone in the trading day, more than 100 million shares of Cisco had changed hands.