Planning to read BusinessWeek's Inside Wall Street column first thing Friday morning? Read this first. A Securities and Exchange Commission penalty brought against an investor Thursday illustrates once again why followers of Gene Marcial's
oft-criticized column are frequently left out in the cold when it comes to so-called hot stocks. Marcial's weekly column is often the catalyst for higher volume and prices in many formerly unheard-of stocks. Sometimes the picks perform well. But many times the bullish arguments, including takeovers and robust growth predictions, fail to pan out after an initial one- or two-day trading pop. Check out the barely believable prediction on American Express ( AXP) a few months ago, which fueled a 7% one-day gain in the stock.