Tech Stock Bubble Reinflates All Over Again

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NEW YORK: "Bubbles don't die easily," says TIME Wall Street columnist Daniel Kadlec ruefully, as the tech sector continued Thursday to confound its most bearish observers. After 10 days in the dumps -- 10 days that some analysts believed were just the beginning -- the NASDAQ is riding high again. Thank a stellar earnings report from bellwether IBM, and a sentiment that Kadlec thinks is becoming a matter of blind faith: Tech stocks are the place to be.

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"We'd been waiting for this for so long, and it looked as if this was going to be the real thing," Kadlec says of the short-lived correction. Attention was being turned from inflated Net stocks to recent underperformers such as oil and steel, which were supposed to get a boost from an Asian recovery. Sense and traditional valuations were returning to investing. "But it's a testament to how emotional people are about the Net stocks," says Kadlec, "that everyone jumped back in. And because enough people did, they were right. It's self-fulfilling." Thursday's run-up lifted the NASDAQ back near 1999's record highs, and left bearish analysts feeling like Cassandra all over again.