Nobody likes VeriSign (VRSN) - Get Report as much as I do. But it just got victimized by something that has become quite common of late: the final-minute markup.

The stock just got put back to where it "really" went out, at 251 -- oops, now it is back at 253, where it didn't go out. That last trade has the effect of making it look like an up day for this company.

It wasn't. The stock was down.

Why do I care? Because these shenanigans have become all too common on the


. Someone comes in and distorts the close every day. (It is done nightly to Inc.


to the downside, but alas, I have no idea what can be done about that. The stock was trading from 11 1/4 to 11 1/2 and then got marked at 10 3/4.)

This kind of blatant manipulation is astonishingly easy to stop. You just find out who did those trades and you sanction them.


has that power.

Why hasn't it happened? Maybe they don't know how prevalent it is.

Maybe they have more business than they can handle. But that doesn't mean it's not an outrageous abuse of the system. It should be eradicated before closing prices are just plain meaningless.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long VeriSign and, and Cramer was long 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