How tempting is it to decide that all of that selling is history? Isn't it supremely delicious to say " Soros is in cash, that's the end of the selling, we are off to the races?"
I know that such thoughts careered through my brain all day today. Part of me really wants to believe it. There has been unprecedented pain. I get a run delivered to me each day with the universe of stocks we follow and, when you turn to Net tech, you can't believe some of these declines. They are amazing. You have to believe that these stocks are all going to 6 or 7 to bet against them here.
But it happened to business-to-consumer stocks. So I guess it could happen to these, too. We are in a seasonally strong time, near the summer, and we have much less supply hitting us than in previous years, so the market is due for a romp. I would be kidding you, though if I thought that the tough times were past. I think we are in a strange spot, where the
doesn't know the answers yet about whether it will tighten aggressively after tomorrow.
We work hard to develop our own model of how the economy is doing. We think it has downshifted. But when the stock market runs right back, we think it will shift into high gear again. While there has been plenty of damage to the psyche of the margined buyer, there has been no damage to the psyche of the buy-and-holder.
Somehow, when this is through, we suspect that those who simply hung on for the sake of hanging, because of a predilection never to sell, won't be rewarded without more pain occurring.
We still think that most of the rallies we will see will be short-covering rallies. However, unlike the December-through-March period, bargains abound. There is plenty to buy. It's just not the same stuff anymore.
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