Blame it on Lycos (LCOS) ? Seems a little odd, but the mania ended when Barry Diller convinced Lycos that, indeed, maybe these stocks are all tulip bulbs so you better take the stock of a slow-growth shopping channel because it beats being planted in the ground come spring.
The sheer irony of the home-shopping business buying the Net was simply too painful, wasn't it? I mean isn't the
Home Shopping Network
the Net's worst historical fear/nightmare? A bubble that rose up and up and up only to be crushed when we realized the whole thing was a slow-growing fad. The quintessential bear case confirmed by Bob Davis, the "shrewd" stock manager of Lycos. Ouchhh!!!
No wonder today was a horrible day.
I had hoped when the mania ended -- and it sure ended -- it wouldn't take everything with it. But that was wrong. The last half hour was about as serious a selloff as we have had in some time. Lots of things got killed and many lows from Thursday didn't hold. Bulls can point to the fact that there was not a lot of volume and that the selloff was almost entirely program-related. But bears can gloat that the day finished on a distinctly sour note.
And again, there is still no hurry to commit. I am letting my faves come down further, still buying on a scale, still nibbling. As I said in my
piece earlier, tech is expensive, but it is getting LESS expensive.
If you want a market in which 20 stocks act great and 1,600 act awfully, then you will have to be depressed by this market, because those 20 stocks are no longer acting well. But if you want a market in which valuations are more reasonable and something else besides the Janus 20 works, stick around. That's where we are headed. And fast. I am sure some of you are thinking, What's the point? Why take this beating? Why not get out and buy lower? To which I say, Why should I do that? I have cash and I like to buy weakness. It sure isn't for everybody, but it is what I do. Can't change stripes now.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, the fund was long Cisco, although positions can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.