It's amazing how the Christmas-New Year's season has raced up on us. Pell-mell trading, including huge volumes, continues apace even as the final presents are purchased and the last holiday cards are sent.

We're planning to stick with you right through the egg nog season, providing the latest insights and most recent news as you sort through a couple of last-minute stock shopping ideas. From the raging B2Bs to the screaming

Red Hot stocks, we're trying to uncover the small facts that will enable you to make a smarter investment decision.

Given all the strange new names --







Red Hat




(AKAM) - Get Report

-- it's not a surprise that we're working on figuring out a new way to gauge what's happening in the hottest areas of the stock market. One popular measure, the Red Hot Index, has helped keep tabs on the hot areas, but it's a measure that is a bit too narrow and, perhaps, not aptly named to tell the true story of new technology. This week on our

message boards we will begin a polling and message board process to add some new names to the index. These stocks have been Red Hot, but the name doesn't do justice to the radical technology changes these companies are driving. We'll be coming to you to help us expand and, potentially, rename the index as we begin the new millennium.

Reworking the so-called Red Hot Index is only one of several ways you are going to see

change as the new millennium/century/year arrives. We're not going to forget what got us to this point: unflinching devotion to quality, edgy commentary, scoops and analysis. But at the same time, we know there's so much more we can do. Don't hesitate to let me know if you've got some ideas for how we can kick off the new year. I can always be reached at .

Finally, as we get ready for a time with families and others, we at

family would like to thank all of you readers for a great year. We're learning and growing together, and without you we'd be nothing. We appreciate your ideas, support and constructive criticism. I can already taste the excitement of the new year!

L'Etoile du Nord

Dave Kansas