Publish date:

A Relatively Benign Close

But there are a few things the trader needs to see before he gets more bullish.
Author:

Not a bad close. My technician, Todd Harrison, called a V bottom, which is a pattern that looks like a straight up off the bottom move. I never like to call anything bullish on a down huge day, but the last half-hour saw a nice comeback.

We wondered whether the margin selling reached a climax at 3:30 p.m. and that allowed the market to lift. What would make us more bullish?

Simple: If companies pulled underwritings. If brokerages stopped allowing venture-capital firms to put out new deals. If some dot-coms were to just go belly-up and NOT be replaced by new underwritings.

We need to see some discipline on the part of the sellers. We have to see these deals cancelled if this is anything more than a "saved by the bell" V bottom.

I am going to monitor

Ben Holmes

TST Recommends

closely over the next few days. If there is no cessation of selling -- if there is just the same, old same old -- we aren't going to do anything but kick out the stuff we bought on that last round of buys indicated in the "wazoo emergency"

piece.

Random musings:

That close will inspire buyers -- and the institutions who have cash will take up their favorite stocks tomorrow. Really hard to be a superbear here, even though the bears had to be doing the big jig at 3:30 p.m. when the margin ax was finished.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.