It's not just the shorts that make out in nervous markets. Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is also making the most of Wall Street's meandering. Yesterday, Symantec announced that it would pay $370 million to acquire spam-battling software developer Brightmail.

Symantec had taken a small stake in Brightmail four years ago. Now the antivirus heavyweight will scoop up the remaining 89% of the company. And to think that Symantec may owe it all to foundering share prices.

How so? Well, Brightmail filed to go public back in March. In a more buoyant market, Brightmail would have likely scoffed at Symantec's advances and cashed in on what could have been a bustling IPO. I mean, in these spam-intensive times, a proven Brightmail would have been an easy sell.

Brightmail's client list reads like a "Who's Who" in new technology. From eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) to Earthlink (NASDAQ:ELNK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), that's quite the trophy wife to take to the cocktail party. While the company was barely profitable last year, and while Symantec is paying a lofty 14 times Brightmail's trailing revenue, it's a safe bet that a frothy market would have bid up the shares well beyond that.

So Symantec got lucky with the ultimate closing time pickup line.

"Who's going to drive you home?"

It gets them every time.

What are you doing to protect your computer from viral infection? Can you be doing a better job of eliminating spam from your inbox? All this and more -- in the Help with this STUPID Computer! discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz didn't catch the latest computer virus, but he is getting over a cold. He does not own shares in any company that he mentioned.