Heroes Of A Wild And Crazy Stock Ride

The payoff for Net investors has never been greater. But how long can these prices last?

Not since Bill Gates took Microsoft public in 1986 has Wall Street witnessed anything like the wealth-creating power of today's Internet stocks. Consider Amazon.com an online bookseller that has lost more than $30 million since 1995 with nary a penny of profit in sight. No matter. Amazon's $5 billion in market value exceeds the combined capitalization of Barnes & Noble and Borders Group, the two largest U.S. bookstore chains. The rise of No. 1 search engine Yahoo has been no less phenomenal. It stood at $181 a share last week after reporting second-quarter earnings of $8.1 million--following three straight years of...

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