This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Sept. 16

Stocks in this article: BAC VRSN YHOO DNDN UBS AOL BRK.A MSFT

5. Very Silly VeriSign

Sometimes Wall Street acts dumb. Other times, it just outsmarts itself.

Take the recent action in VeriSign (VRSN) for example.

Shares of the Internet infrastructure provider fell over 14% last Friday after Brian Robins resigned as chief financial officer. VeriSign said in a statement that Robins is leaving "to pursue new opportunities" with his last day being Sept. 30.

Now if you owned VeriSign stock that morning, you must have been wondering why the selloff was so steep. Executives come and go all the time. And it's not like this guy is getting canned for a sex scandal or stealing office supplies. He's just moving on, right?

Furthermore, Chairman Jim Bidzos, also the company's founder, even blessed Robins' departure by saying he appreciated Robins' contributions and his role in "positioning the company to take advantage of new opportunities." Bidzos, for those who may have missed it, has been filling the chief executive officer role since Mark McLaughlin left last month to take the top job at Palo Alto Networks.

Alright, let's get this straight. A relatively unknown number cruncher is leaving the company with a pat on the back from the boss and not even going to a competitor ... and the stock gets crippled? What's going on here?

Allow us to explain, because it really is a great illustration of how the geniuses on Wall Street occasionally fall behind when they try to think ahead.

You see, VeriSign did not really 'lose' market value on Friday, as much as it gave up gains it never deserved in the first place. The stock had jumped 13% in the days prior to Robins' announcement after the company canceled appearances at two conferences, fueling rumors that VeriSign was going to be acquired.

In other words, the stock ran up because the guy didn't show up. Then it sold off when it was announced that he was gone for good, leaving shareholders essentially back where they started.

Don't try to make sense of it though. You may hurt your brain doing so.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs