But Noodles is infuriating me. Just infuriating -- and I am blaming it directly on the parlor game of international finance. I hadn't focused on this initial public offering because there was "too much going on," and because I was too worried about the 10-year Treasury note. I knew this company may be the hottest concept out there, because I have a noodle bar next to me -- ramen-based -- that you can't get into, and which The New York Times says is the hottest trend. I know that the Asian ShopHouse from Chipotle ( CMG) seems stillborn, but the concept is a winning one. From researching Chipotle, I even knew the gents who started the joint.
But the Noodles IPO itself? Totally lost in the thicket that is the handwringing about whether the Fed is really tightening.
This is a bad sign for a stock-picker like me. We have to take advantage of the free money wherever we can find it, and that money has been in the IPO market. The Noodles deal was precisely the kind that bankers give you when you're fed up and when IPOs are being cancelled. It was a non-New York deal, meaning you had to get outside yourself, or at least outside the city, in order to know what the chain was like. Yet no one I know even talked about it because of the Fed obsession.
It was a real wake-up call that we need to get the international focus tamped and the U.S. focus ramped, no matter what -- because that's where the money is. Everything else, while not a distraction, does keep you from thinking about what really moves stocks, instead of what the old and new pros proclaim is calling the tune. You don't find Noodles by looking at the yen. You don't find Onyx by guessing about European fund flows or U.S. gross domestic product. If only life were that easy.At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the securities mentioned.