Sometimes the tape is so darn confusing. Goldman Sachs comes out this morning and says 50 basis points from the Fed is in the cards. Let's stipulate that a hike like that would be bad for the banks. The banks then go up! What the heck is that all about?
We have an intermediate-term view which says that the more people expect a 50-basis-point move, the more it will be discounted by the market when it happens -- so the market will probably rally on the news. So now perhaps people are anticipating that rally? That seems hard to believe, but how else do you explain the strength?
Could the strength be a false tell? Is it just some stupid buyer out there taking the banks for no reason? Is it a derivative trade where someone is buying a basket of banks anticipating mergers?
Anyway, when I see this type of thing, it throws me off my game and I have to make more calls to figure out what I am missing. Sometimes I am missing nothing. Sometimes I am missing a key to the puzzle. Sometimes it just can't be figured.
That, to me, is why the game is so hard.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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