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This was originally published on RealMoney. It is being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.

They disappeared. The darned sellers disappeared. The sellers of

MasterCard

(MA) - Get Mastercard Inc. (MA) Report

and

Freeport-McMoRan

(FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. (FCX) Report

and

Potash

(POT)

. The sellers of

National Oilwell Varco

(NOV) - Get National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV) Report

and

Conoco

(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report

TheStreet Recommends

and

XTO Energy

( XTO) and

Ultra Petroleum

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. The sellers of

Occidental

(OXY) - Get Occidental Petroleum Corporation Report

and

Devon

(DVN) - Get Devon Energy Corporation Report

.

Where the heck did they go? Think about it:

Natural gas

and

oil

were

down

today, despite a hurricane coming to the Gulf!

This is what I mean is driving me and everyone else crazy. This is what I mean when I say these

hedge funds

have lost control of their clients, their money and their minds.

Think about it: If you weren't desperate, you could have sold a little yesterday and a little today. You got much better prices today. These hedge-fund young guns either don't know how to trade -- use a discipline, work the order, try to get a good price -- or they have to send money back constantly because they are doing so badly and they are liquidating.

What's so unnerving is that the prices of the stocks have so much more to do with the hedge funds that buy, sell and

short

them than they do with how the companies are doing. Ultra Pete, up more than 6, didn't just discover more oil.

Cabot Oil

(CBT) - Get Cabot Corporation Report

didn't discover a new shale. Freeport actually shaded down numbers, for heaven's sake. It didn't matter a hill of beans that National Oil didn't get any orders.

This is why this market has become an intense game of gaming other funds, not the

fundamentals

. It is why the market has become so repulsive to so many.

Image placeholder title

Now, there are major trends that can be adhered to. I have said

ad nauseum

that the banks and homebuilders and retailers and consumers of oil and gas bottomed on July 15. Not all, obviously:

Lehman

( LEH) and

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Waste Management, Inc. Report

are classic outliers, as will be

AIG

(AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report

. These stocks have their own peculiar patterns, like the 6-point run in

Whirlpool

(WHR) - Get Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) Report

on Friday and the 5-point decline yesterday.

But a

V.F. Corp

(VFC) - Get V.F. Corporation Report

or a

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

or a

Costco

(COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report

and

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Report

doesn't seem to want to quit.

Toll Brothers

(TOL) - Get Toll Brothers, Inc. Report

has moved huge, some of it no doubt attributed to the monster buy orders from Bob Toll and Joel Rassman, 646,000 and 85,000 respectively.

But the commodities? You tell me when three or four funds are done forced selling, and I will tell you when you have a trade. You tell me when the whole shareholder base turned around, and you are going to have an investment. You tell me when China reignites and Europe cuts rates, and you've got a reason behind that investment.

But right now, the only call you need is from an

institutional

broker saying, "That big hedge fund didn't reload, he didn't come back today."

And that, not the

fundamental analysis

, is the home run.

This was originally published on

RealMoney

on September 10, 2008. For more information about subscribing to

RealMoney,

please click here.

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Mario Gabelli, CEO of GAMCO Investors, explains why private equity will come back, Cablevision's stock will rise and activist investing is here to stay.

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Plus, don't miss Cramer: Hedge Funds Will Regret Dissing CSX (Video, Sept. 11: Jim Cramer says hedge funds have no idea how exceptional this stock is.) and Cramer: Dividends No Help Right Now (Video, Mar. 20: Cramer explains how frantic short-selling by hedge funds will overcome the positives of fat dividends, at least for a while.).

At the time of publication, Jim Cramer was long long CBT, COST, DVN, FCX, NOV and WMT.

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