Nothing worse than getting spooked by a whisper, is there? Take this morning's bogus Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report whisper story. When I saw the sales number come out this morning, I immediately called Jeff Berkowitz, who was staying at the Morgan Stanley tech conference, and told him that Amazon had delivered a very solid, very strong number.
No sooner had I done that than I saw the ridiculous story on the tape saying that Amazon would be down because it missed the "whisper number." What a crock of horse dung that is! I trade Amazon every day, and I never once heard any of those crazy numbers that suddenly surfaced, which Amazon was supposed to have hit. My homework had told me that there was a chance they could reach the number they printed, but not beyond it. Nor was I -- or anybody else who trades this thing regularly -- surprised that the losses did not narrow. THE LOSSES WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO NARROW.
That's why when the stock was down I was able to scoop some up. Arguably I should welcome this disinformation from the wires. After all, it is tough enough to make a buck; why not profit from such disinformation? My problem is that I can't stand it when things are just plain WRONG and they impact stocks, even if I can scalp a few bucks off it.
, I used to just sit here and grouse about these things. But now I feel like I have to speak out. When you see "missed the whisper," please get your antennae up. This stuff happens all of the time. One time it happened about
when I was on "Squawk" and I spoke out directly, saying to avoid the bogus "whisper" stories, and I thought I had helped kill them off. But they are alive and well and ready to lead you astray.
Be careful out there.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, his fund was long Amazon and Dell, 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 at