Is the dot-com world getting too hated? I know that yesterday, my "buy the Net" call was greeted with an outright yawn, if not a smirk of derision. I get email on virtually everything I do, but I only got a couple of catcalls about buying Net stocks.
But think of it this way: Near the end of each quarter, word begins to seep out how good the business of the Net really is for some winners, particularly
. The latter runs, every time, right on up into the quarter, when it then sells off because the window opens for insider selling.
Why should this time be any different? Yahoo!'s business appears to be strong from the
data just out. The expectations haven't risen as they usually have during this period, mostly because analysts don't feel like coming out of the bunker to talk about dot-coms.
And we have the added kicker of a
article that talked about Net burnout (doesn't matter that my fax box is inundated with faxes from companies talking about the underwritings they did that raised capital that wasn't reflected in that survey piece), making people feel like it's all ending badly.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The strong are getting stronger even as the weak are falling by the wayside. The constant and endless decline in
Titanic Portal, is good news for Yahoo!, not bad news. Same with the
disappearing act in
. A year ago, Excite and
of Yahoo!. Now I don't know anybody who thinks of them as being in the same league! (As I write,
subscriber numbers, another onetime horse to bet on.)
I am going back into the dot-com mine today to find more bargains. Companies that have developed brand names and could be targets of opportunity for other companies will be highest on my list. But I will also be looking at companies that have been completely written off that have a ton of cash.
This market is just as imperfect on the downside as it was on the upside.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Yahoo! and America Online. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may 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 at