Web Of Hype And Glory

Vast, user-friendly resources make the Internet a rich research tool--but traps abound

When Jean Mobilia surfs the World Wide Web, or prowls the message boards of America Online, her interest is far from casual. One favorite stop is the EDGAR database of corporate filings, hosted by the Securities & Exchange Commission. "I keep an eye out for [SEC form] S-1s, which often disclose insiders selling stock," says Mobilia. Often, she has found, stock runups have a way of preceding insider sales--a sneaky little "coincidence" that Mobilia tracks through stock-charting services on AOL and the Internet. Insiders profit from the runups--and, thanks to the Internet, so does Mobilia.

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