Yahoo Puts the Bull Back in Net Stocks

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NEW YORK: After suffering from a momentary lapse of enthusiasm Wednesday, Internet stocks reignited Thursday following an amazing spate of announcements from Wall Street's darling, Yahoo. The buoyant trio of Net portals -- Yahoo, Excite and Lycos -- was up a combined 20 points by noon, with Yahoo accounting for half that gain, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ was pushing into record territory.

Yahoo's earnings prove it's the strongest company in the group, says TIME Wall Street columnist Daniel Kadlec. Will it turn out to be the next Microsoft? "That's a crazy bet to make and yet everybody's making it," Kadlec says. "Yahoo is riding a mania for Internet stocks, just like the mania for biotech in 1991. These stocks have so much room to collapse." Indeed, in announcing only a 2-for-1 split Wednesday (effective in August), Yahoo might be signaling that it knows some bearish days are coming. Notes Kadlec: "A $200 stock price means Yahoo should split 4-for-1 to make it cheaper for small investors. Two-for-1 leaves the price too high for that at $100 -- they're expecting to lose some value, and they're playing it safe." Come August, it's unlikely even a $100 price tag could slow this Wall Street bull down.