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After the Thaw

The buyers' game of freeze tag in wake of the Fed meeting has ended.
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Patterns, patterns, where are they today? Buyers of drugs, maybe because of the resolution of the price-fixing case? Maybe because interest rates have backed up to as high as they are going to go?

Buyers of cyclicals, because the


isn't tightening immediately? Because their businesses won't be hurt by a Fed that is aggressive but not too aggressive?

Buyers of the Net, because



isn't going away, as we learned from the meeting? This morning?

Buyers of the utilities and the consumer stocks? Buyers of the papers off rumors that

Champion International

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gets a bid? What gives? What did I miss?


All I am doing with this exercise is outthinking things. When you have much anticipated events like the Fed meeting, it freezes all buyers, as they want to wait and see. It, of course, does not freeze sellers, who typically are worried about the Fed's moves. In fact, it thaws sellers! They are motivated by yesterday's scary action.

(Notice, the sellers today seem to be in stocks that would get hurt by a slowdown in consumer spending, which is what the Fed wants, not corporate spending. So the autos are down and some of the high-growth retailers are getting pounded.)

Right after the Fed meets, you have the crazy wackiness --

Berko's law -- and the quick-trigger panickers taking over. The heavy-duty guys, the big funds, they just take it all in.

Today, the buyers are unthawed. Today the buyers want to put money to work, believing that they have a while to wait before anything whacks them, macro-wise.

That's why we have a benign environment today. That's why diverse stocks are going up. The pattern is that after a big hoopla event, buyers come off the fence and buy.

Not much more to it.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long AOL. 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