The Net's Getting Hotter Than Hardware - TheStreet

The Net's Getting Hotter Than Hardware

Cramer thinks that some tech players' inability to hit the ball out of the park might translate into downright negativity during the next quarter.
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The Net works, but how about the rest of tech? Even as I continue to love the Net, I am spooked by the action in stocks like IBM (IBM) - Get Report and now BMC (BMCS) , where something is clearly wrong.

What's making me nervous is that so many of the software stocks, system integrators and distributors have signaled that the big Y2K build-out has taken place and now things have slowed.

I don't think these problems are going to surface aggressively in this quarter past. You won't see it in the numbers that are printed. No matter, the market is always more interested in the future. The inability of the IBMs and the BMCs to hit the ball out of the park might get translated to downright negativity for the next quarter.

No doom and gloom, just a sense that the Net will be hotter than hardware going forward, and I am trimming back my pure hardware plays and starting a couple of shorts in the group on any strength.

Interesting, but a few weeks ago I was on

Neil Cavuto's

excellent Friday evening show with

Bill Fleckenstein

. (I will be there again tomorrow if you want to catch me.) I was bullish; he was less bullish.

Lots of times in my career, I have disparaged Fleck's view of the stock market.

I never disparage his views of the companies themselves.

He always knows more about the tone of business than just about anybody I have ever met. I think Fleck's view, which is that tech with big exposure to corporate America is going to have a hard time in the fourth quarter, may prove to be spot on.

Random musings:

Thrilled to see the penguins back on "Squawk Box" with the travesty that was

Sunrise Assisted Living

(SNRZ)

. I miss "Squawk" terribly, but management in Fort Lee/30 Rock regards our show and

TheStreet.com

as competition, despite the fact that I am a real live money manager by day. So I can't hold out much hope that you will see me back in that guest chair with

Mark Haines

,

Joe Kernen

and

Dave Faber

anytime soon. Of course, if people want to compete with me, I will adopt the same kindler, gentler stance that everyone in this business knows me for and work for

Fox News Channel

with all my heart and soul. It is too bad; that "Squawk" was some great TV. Live with no net. I see from the

New York Post

that

CNN

is trying to snare Joe Kernen. I don't blame them. Kernen has the kind of personality and integrity that could put

CNN

back on the map. Personally, I hope he doesn't go. I would miss him and his trenchant wit way too much if he bolts.

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.

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