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Staying in the Turret

Looks like I picked the wrong time to get away from the office. I just cancelled a little time off, set to begin on Monday, and I am heartsick. But I am also a professional and professionals don't desert their turrets in times of crisis. This is, by the way, a real crisis.

As I type and examine the carnage, stocks are trading up, up smartly. Sun Microsystems (SUNW) and Intel (INTC) are up substantially from where they were at 3:45 p.m.

On any other day I would be encouraged. But this kind of hammering has your head ringing and I can't tell whether there is just an absence of selling or something real going on.

The last hour felt like someone or many people were going out of business. It would seem to me that if you were on margin you probably did get closed out whether you were an individual or an institution. I think we will discover that somebody big blew up and that's the selling we saw.

I can't recall any other time that my screen was so bathed in red. I can't recall a time of such tremendous pessimism and yet so little selling other than the forced kind.

So, sadly, I will be at my turret on Monday -- 'cause this is the business we have chosen.

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

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