Once we get into one of those "it doesn't matter what number we report, our stock will go down anyway" syndromes, it's awfully hard to get things back on track.

That's where we were today.

Let me tell you how we have gotten out of these spirals before. We begin to sell off ahead of an expected great quarter as people don't want to stick around for the aftermath. Then we begin to get short-selling ahead of a quarter, as the short-sellers see the pattern and want to profit from it.

Finally, stocks are so knocked down and shorted ahead of good news that when the news occurs, people say, "What the heck, this stock looks cheap."

And then real buyers come in, short-sellers cover, and the stock goes higher on good news.

Sound Pollyanna-ish? It is how we got to 11,000 in the first place. It will be how we go higher again after this pullback.

I personally felt we could still be a day or two away from breaking out of the morass that all news is bad news. Which is why we sat on our hands most of the day sticking by our wide scales for our investment buys. (Newbies, I have described this process many times in the archives and I point you there.)

Random musings:

You overwhelmingly supported my shoot-from-the-hip

AOL

(AOL)

badlands stuff in your emails to me. Unfortunately, Berko was right:

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

ruined it for everybody. Crummy DOT, or

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index, day as the Bezos dollars are losing their luster as currency.

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