Facebook效应对网络股的重大影响是显而易见的，大量这类股票在2013年都开始上涨。LinkedIn上涨了112%，流媒体音乐服务公司Pandora涨了199%, 房地产估值网站Zillow涨了204%，点评网站Yelp的涨幅更是高达 285%。就算是那些被视为网络股中麻烦缠身、业绩欠佳的公司也跟着水涨船高：Zynga今年涨了60%，团购网站Groupon涨了135%（不过并非所有近期上市的网络股都有这么红火的走势，比如Demand Media就下跌了32%）。
2013 is proving to be the year that the stock market fell back in love with the Internet. The question is whether the love affair this time will be an enduring one or just another bout of exuberant infatuation.
For years after the dot-com crash of 2000, only a handful of companies at a time were received as tech stars: eBay (EBAY) and Yahoo (YHOO) were hot a decade ago, then lost their mojo. Google (GOOG) went public in 2004 and has enjoyed mostly steady gains since, but few web IPOs that followed saw similar success.
Several years ago, a new generation of startups emerged. They were built around new technologies and features like social networking, local e-commerce and mobile apps. In time, the best of these companies listed their stocks on the public markets, and some, like Zynga (ZNGA) and OpenTable (OPEN), saw their prices rise and then fall. Fewer, like LinkedIn (LNKD) won a more durable favor among investors.
This year, nearly all public companies relying on web-centric business models are seeing the kinds of rallies that founders dream of when going public. The most notable example is Facebook (FB). Remember when the stock was trading at $18 a share, less than half its offering price? That was only a year ago.
Facebook, more than any other company, is responsible for the recent surge in web stocks. Its share price languished for much of its first year in the market amid concerns that it hadn't found a way to monetize mobile advertising. The company's most recent financial report, however, showed that was changing. Since then, Facebook has seen its stock price double, spurring rallies in other companies able to draw revenue from the mobile web.
As important as the Facebook effect has been on web stocks, many of them had been rising throughout 2013. LinkedIn has risen 112%, Pandora (P) 199%, Zillow (Z) 204%, and Yelp (YELP) 285%. Even companies seen as troubled laggards in the sector are benefiting: Zynga is up 60% this year, and Groupon (GRPN) has gained 135%. (Not all recent web IPOs are thriving, however: Demand Media (DMD) is down 32%.)
This spirit of generosity toward web stocks is prompting more tech companies to file into the IPO queue, and some of these are receiving warm welcomes. Rocket Fuel (FUEL), an ad-tech company, nearly doubled on its first day of trading in late September and has risen even higher since then. And Twitter, which filed Thursday for its long-awaited IPO, is expected to be valued at $10 billion when it goes public, and it has yet to show a profit.
If Twitter's stock rises after listing with such a rich valuation, it could add even more fuel to the rally in web stocks. And that would raise questions familiar to anyone who rode the boom-and-bust roller coaster during the dot-com years: When is a rally getting out of hand? When does a hot stock become too hot for sane investors to touch?