Evidence of Growing Net Sophistication

After the Excite deal news cooled, we really saw people differentiate between the winners and losers in the Net sector.
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So, somebody has to buy

Lycos

(LCOS)

. That's our take. Don't know any other way to play it. Not easy buying up 12, but in the New Discipline, you have to do what it takes to make money, even if it violates everything you believe in about selling -- not buying -- price jumps.

Looks like, however, that not all is well with the Net. People are taking

Onsale's

(ONSL)

top line as light, which certainly makes sense given the Net price war so well documented by just about everybody. Could that be the first chink, in that everybody else has reported a blowout top line and these companies are all valued by revenue growth?

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is a tougher case. Too big to be a seller. Maybe, just maybe, a buyer. That's not too interesting -- certainly not interesting enough to pay 324.

AOL

(AOL)

? Shouldn't be affected at all, but still traded up. Go figure.

And

@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

itself? Sorry, I am no arb. Blew mine out at the opening, thrilled to get a higher price for an acquirer, something that is not too typical in the non-Net world.

The lesson of the morning? The market is getting more sophisticated about the Net. Everything traded up at the opening because of the Excite deal, but by midmorning we had people picking winners and losers. And now we have outright losers, stocks from the Net that are actually going down as the Onsale news gets an even tougher scrutiny.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, his fund was long America Online and Lycos, though positions 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 by sending a letter to TheStreet.com.