Sometimes investors see what they want to see. A case in point is today's up-and-down trading in Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO).

The networking king jumped more than 4% in early trading after a Dutch newspaper reported that CEO John Chambers expects an IT market recovery within two to four months. For Nasdaq apologists, this was just the pronouncement they'd been waiting for. Tech bulls stampeded into Cisco, riding the stock to a new 52-week high of $19.55.

By noon, however, the stock was back below $19 after a Cisco spokesperson cautioned that Chambers' comments had been misinterpreted. Apparently, what he actually said was that companies will renew their IT spending two to four months after their businesses turn up (no comment on when that might be). This is essentially what Chambers has been saying for several quarters.

Somehow, on this great-news-turned-no-news, Cisco managed a nearly 1% gain on the day. Investors apparently have no qualms paying 32 times expected 2003 earnings and 29 times guesstimated 2004 earnings. Again, sometimes investors just see what they want to see.