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

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.


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


(EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report

was lately catapulting 13.6% to $34.50, while


TheStreet Recommends

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

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

(AKAM) - Get Akamai Technologies, Inc. Report

, 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




(VRSN) - Get VeriSign, Inc. Report


And don't forget


(DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc Class C Report

, 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


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

, 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.