The extended holiday weekend means that you are now just one day away from Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) posting its second-quarter results. It's impossible to underscore the significance of the Internet bellwether's financials. Yahoo! matters and the market knows it.

While heavies like Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendations eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are forces to reckon with in their own rights, Yahoo! presents the fairest prognosis of the Web as a whole.

The ambitious portal kicked off the year in grand fashion, producing $197 million in free cash flow during the first quarter and building up its balance sheet fortress to a healthy $2.8 billion sum.

Back in April, the company was also targeting $625 million in operating income for all of 2004. It pegged revenues -- beyond traffic acquisition costs related to the company's paid search efforts -- to come in between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion. The company's swagger, reflected in part by a recent 2-for-1 stock split, would seem to suggest that those benchmarks may be raised this week.

With Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) starting to take its search business seriously and Google set to go public, Yahoo! realizes that the publicly traded spotlight will be shared in the future. Here's a great chance to shine while the light is still bright and focused.

How important is Yahoo! and its quarterly report to the tech stocks? Will the possibility of Microsoft taking its paid search business in-house -- and away from Yahoo! -- next year hurt the company? What are you expecting the company to earn? All this and more -- in the Yahoo! discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz relishes his time on Yahoo!, but he does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story.