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During the past few weeks we have watched with wonder as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

has soared ever higher, clipping past 7000 on Thursday evening.

But we've paid attention to a number of other things. In our effort to provide fact-driven stories that give investors something to chew on, we think it important that we keep track of what our stories are saying. Both for good and for ill.

One of our strongest moments may have been when we wrote a story that the

Nikkei 225 index

, the measure of the Japanese stock market, likely had finished falling. That story coincided with apocalyptic tales from

The Wall Street Journal


The New York Times

and the newsweekly magazines. Guess what? That story also coincided with the bottom in the Nikkei.

We have led the way in the influential networking equipment sector. First, we showed early skepticism about the networking stocks back in December. We talked about price competition and unrealistic growth expectations for this influential group. Starting with


in early January and then proceeding through the rest of the group to


in early February, investors eventually crushed the group as our stories had indicated. This past week, we wrote on Wednesday that the damage had largely been done -- or overdone -- with some of these stocks down more than 50%. The group has since started heading higher.

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Showing that we continue to focus strongly on this group, we indicated in early January that


, the network equipment concern, would have a strong IPO. And, indeed, it did have a strong IPO in early February.

But even here, in one of our strongest sectors of coverage, perfection has eluded us. We have outlined the positive prospects for Shiva as a potential takeover target, but the stock market has not responded. And

Cascade Communications

continues to limp along, despite some positive news we reported.

In terms of individual stocks,

Creative Technology

, a maker of sound equipment for computers, is up more than 100% since we noted strong sales in its key Soundblaster product. A story indicating problems at

The Learning Co.

came before the stock fell more than 30%. In biotechnology,


has risen a quick 21% since we highlighted a product approval for the company.

Of course, we've had our woes as well. We wrote a story about


in late January that failed to indicate how the

Motley Fool's

report on the company had played a big part in the stock's recent movements. One story indicated that

Smith Barney

had chosen not to underwrite an IPO for


. But Smith Barney is listed as the lead underwriter in NextWave's recent IPO filing.

And, our previously mentioned proud moment concerning Japan has a related miss. We wrote a story that outlined how the dollar had run far enough. But that story ran back when a dollar fetched 116 yen. Now it fetches close to 125. Oh well, maybe we're just early.

By Dave Kansas
Executive Editor