The New Frontier of Net Trading - TheStreet

The New Frontier of Net Trading

The action in Verio today proves that we're in a different time and a different tape.
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The trading in Verio (VRIO) shows you how hard this market is. This morning, Verio announced a slew of initiatives meant to be positive for the stock, including what looked like a sharp challenge to Exodus (EXDS) on the Web hosting side. The changes were all positive (with the exception of the resignation of a high-ranking officer) and the Street's analyst community cheered them.

But the stock opened sharply lower because the initiatives, while correct and necessary, pushed out profitability. Nobody likes a dot-com infrastructure play that has just put profitability further off into the future. It is totally aggravating to the holders who are sick of the profit postponements.

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Message Boards. Now the stock is working its way back as the company explains that this move is positive, not negative. But there was another time and another tape where this stock would have been up 10 on this expansion move.

Maybe we can get those days back again. But in the interim, the Net remains very hard to game.

Random musings:

What's worse than a dot-com that blows up? A nondot-com that pretends to be a dot-com that then blows up. Check out the action in

Sotheby's

(BID) - Get Report

, which got hyped as the next

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

to me by a high-profile manager after I suggested that Sotheby's couldn't be a serious rival to eBay. I was right; he was wrong.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Exodus. 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.