At 09:10 PM 12/8/99 -0600, you wrote:
>Harvey and Max are both right if you are considering a stock for a long
>term investment, long term being more than a day or so.
>If you can execute a trade extremely fast you can buy on the news and
>sell a short time later for a nice profit.
This is hard to do successfully, but for those who want to try their hand, here's a promising case: Friday's IPO of VA Linux (LNUX). Given the performance of companies like Red Hat and other Linux companies, the fact that LNUX has a real business, and that it has "LNUX" as it's stock symbol, IPO day should be very interesting. I suspect despite having jacked up the initial offering price by 100%, it will still open up 200%. It might be very hard to buy and sell the same day at a profit, but if you like to speculate (I don't) this should be a fun one. It might even make a good one-three month hold.
BTW, I did *not* specifically say that you should *never* buy on good news. This can make sense if the news alerts you to a company that you then research, become convinced has much more good news ahead, and jump in even at a high price. (E.g. QCOM, EXDS, INKT.) Some great stocks have never been cheap--MSFT, CSCO, etc., yet have way outperformed the market. I also think it is possible to "buy high and sell higher" successfully, but only by applying rigorously mechanical investing strategies that take the emotion out of the process. These can be highly volatile, but the good screens should excellent returns back tested for 13-15 years.
(Portfolio now at 103% YTD...)