This market likes a good story. Take
. It's all over the papers this morning that the top honchos are selling shares. I take no chances and bolt at the opening. I can't believe I get such good prices -- off a small fraction from yesterday's close. I am high-fiving
on our good fortune.
Next thing you know, Seth Tobias is on
"Squawk" saying how Citigroup is going to blow away the numbers, and the stock jumps 3/4 right then and there. When the market likes the words of a hedge fund manager more than the deeds of the bosses, we are in a real bullish mode, a
Of course, it doesn't seem like it when you don't have tech breaking out.
preannounces a better-than-expected quarter and the stock looks up huge, and then we discover that it is not a true preannouncement and the stock is up less, and then it turns out that everybody knew it anyway, so the stock does nothing.
Meanwhile the Net? How does this grab you? There are hundreds of thousands of shares of
for sale -- institutional ones -- and the stock doesn't get hit. As you know, I am long AOL, but there was a time when word was out about a huge seller of AOL and it would drop five points in a straight line. Every hedge fund bozo would be out there shorting it and buying puts. Now it stays up. And gets stronger as supply begets demand. That's a sea change.
You want to know what makes me sick about this business? I have a 13-D position in a company that makes doors,
, and it has been a real bow-wow. Just hideous. Not a buyer in sight for months and months. Then yesterday, there are buyers all over the place, and this little moribund 2 7/8 stock starts ramping, with guys tripping over themselves to get in the darn thing. Of course, today it gets a bid. Just plain crummy in my book.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, his fund was long America Online and Morgan Products, though positions 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 by sending a letter to TheStreet.com.