Rationality Returns to the Dot-Coms - TheStreet

Rationality in dot-com land took a new turn today when eBay (EBAY) - Get Report did something that is expensive, dilutive and doesn't advance revenue guidance -- and the stock ... went down!

There was a time when any press release from a dot-com meant a 15% jump, as the daytraders using high-speed lines bought the stock and then dumped it to slower traders who bought it off the reporting of the event from

CNBC

. eBay would have been up 20 on that scenario.

Then there was a second period where stocks would jump as the analysts would get behind any announcement and cheer the merger. Why not? The stocks were meant to use their market caps as clubs and they were doing it. eBay would have been up 10 under that scenario.

We are now in the third period. The company does something that doesn't help prospects, and they come down accordingly. Regardless of what the analysts say. The analysts have been revealed as people who can't speak the truth any more about the dot-coms until it is too late (e.g.

NBC Internet

(NBCI)

). eBay goes down in that scenario. Just like other stocks that aren't dot-coms.

It's about time.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.