Feisty bulls pounced on the Internet sector just minutes out of the gate this morning, as affirmative statements from analysts reinvigorated buying. One of the winners,
TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index
, was soaring 9.9%.
Also rebounding with vigor from recent losses were the Internet software and hardware sectors. The
American Stock Exchange Internet Infrastructure Index
, which charts the performance of software makers for the World Wide Web, lately gained 13.3%. Its hardware counterpart, the
American Stock Exchange Internet Architecture Index
, was also jumping, up 7.8%.
Analyst Holly Becker of
was helping to fuel some of the gains. She upgraded Internet behemoth
to buy from market perform, with a 12-month price target of $20. Becker believes that the "worst is over" for Yahoo! and called its shares a "favorable" buy for investors with a "longer-term horizon." Shares of the company recently rose 19.6% to $14.81.
has a more
sober outlook on the company. He recently wrote that Yahoo! won't start looking attractive until it trades below $5 a share.
Becker's call for the bottom for Yahoo! sure gave its rivals a lift. Online auctioneer
was lately catapulting 13.6% to $34.50, while
gained 8.2% to $9.09.
On the software side,
analyst Mike Fernandes this morning said he expects to see "strong" second-quarter results "posted by most of the leading Infrastructure software companies despite concerns about a slowdown in IT spending." This is a whiff of fresh air given that the sector has been inundated with a host of first-quarter earnings warnings and cost cuts.
, which last night lowered its first-quarter outlook, was gaining. This morning, Lehman's analyst Harry Blount called the company's lowered outlook "credible and achievable in a difficult market" and concluded that "most of the downward pressure on the stock has been removed."
Other software companies were leading the sector higher, including
And don't forget
, whose first-quarter earnings affirmation has given tech this rally. The bulls may be descending fast on the PC makers this morning, but Merrill's Henry Blodget recommends caution. In a research note on
, Blodget said Dell's guidance is one bullish sign for the sector. Nevertheless, the analyst concluded, "it is too early to call the bottom in the PC cycle."
Microsoft recently climbed 6% to $55.03, while Dell soared 11.3% to $24.69.