Skip to main content

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, 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

Lehman Brothers

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.'s

Peter Eavis

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,

Merill Lynch

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.

Akamai Technologies


, 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

BEA Systems






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.