Late-Day Lassitude

People didn't feel like taking a stand at the close. Still, there's one lesson to be learned.
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Tired market. Doesn't like e-commerce. Likes old tech, but not drives, especially after

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Report

delivered exactly in-line results in an era when parts makers are blowing away numbers. Loves cell phones.

I always hate to reach any other conclusions when there is a late-day selloff. The futures knocked the market down, and people didn't feel like making a stand after the market had been so strong these last few days. This market needs good news constantly to keep rolling along. That means it needs upside surprises for tech, tons of press releases from e-commerce, total cooperation of usually compliant analysts and no futures pressure. It didn't get those today.

I look at a session like today as an overexuberance lesson. The market tends to not let you make money day after day buying stocks up six and seven points. You get days like today where you feel, Darn, why didn't I wait to buy lower? Some traders habitually kick stocks out between 3:30 and 4 when they say the day doesn't have it. Saw a lot of that today.

Reminds you that even though you may have made money taking

Lycos

(LCOS)

up 10 yesterday, you aren't going to get the stock to stay up another 10 today.

Newton

wrote the book on that second-day stuff and I still follow it. (Don't email me; that's Isaac.)

If there is a take-away from this session, it is that the market continues to get more sophisticated about companies that use the Net vs. companies that are Net companies. If you are a retailer, in the end, you have to sell a product, make money, please the customer and then get another customer. It is no more natural on the Web in the first quarter than it is at the store.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. 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 at letters@thestreet.com.