What does it mean when I use the term "seasoned"? I first heard the term when I worked at Goldman. It meant that something had an established, settled pattern of trading. Stocks like MicroStrategy (MSTR) - Get Report, Vitria (VITR) and Mediaplex (MPLX) - Get Report, to name three, are totally unseasoned. There are big blocks for sale that can't be sold. There are insiders who want out in giant chunks. There are bodies that have yet to be buried. And the floats are dominated by daytraders. They can't take down any supply at all. They run when they should stand. They always go with flight over fight.
Contrast that with
. A few months ago, this stock was the epitome of unseasoned. There were insider sellers and chunks of stocks flying around, and the average trade size was about 300 shares. The stock skidded or ramped 5 points on 5,000 shares.
Now that stock has been put away. We bought priceline stock right into the weakness caused by that
article because we know that hotel chains and airlines
to get together under antitrust laws -- check out the
Federal Trade Commission's
investigation of the auto companies -- and that the stock should not have been hit for that.
But more important, the chunks seem to have been put away. Jay Walker, the top dog there, bought a ton of it,
! -- nice call -- and the rest seems to have been put away by institutions.
That stock is totally seasoned now.
I want to be in seasoned stocks because they are easier to game. I want to be out of unseasoned stocks because they are just too darn volatile right now, and volatile is a code word for "going down."
More on this concept later today.
pulling this market down this morning. Oh, please, sell me some
on that, will you?
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Goldman Sachs, Mediaplex, priceline and Intel. 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