So I'm grabbing a drink at some Chinese restaurant named Chiam, go figure, and a guy comes up to me, total stranger.
I'm already gritting my teeth, my shoulders two inches higher than my neck. I'm in a sour mood cause had a terrible trading day Friday. I'm staring down through the
Johnnie Walker Black
in front of me, trying my best to look like I'm not interested in conversing about this tough tape. Seething, just seething.
The guy says, "Pretty ugly Dow 10,000."
I grimace, saying, "They are all ugly."
Because, that's the truth. No matter how many times we pass these millennial marks, or stall out at them, each time it is ugly. I haven't seen us cross any thousand point barrier with a modicum of thrust or power since 2000. And when we took out 2000 we found ourselves back underneath it in one vicious October swoon that not many seem to remember. Can't count that one!
By ugly, of course, I mean that only a handful of Dow stocks got us past previous millennial marks. And, according to all the talking heads, these few Dow stocks that do the trick are always wildly overextended when we push through. They point out that the losers always seem to outnumber the winners, but the winners get us past the millennial finish lines.
This time is no different.
-- they are arguably the two most economically sensitive Dow stocks left, save perennial underperformers
tell me those two aren't benchwarmers compared with
-- stunk up the joint but good last week. When you compound the chaos by a price-target cut by the man who would once love
on the eve of a Triple Witch, you get something uglier than a kodiak cleaning his hind parts.
It never looks good. Never. If it looked good, we would all be in making fortunes and pounding boat drinks. If it were pretty and guaranteed and powerful and all encompassing, it wouldn't be a stock market.
That's not to say that it shouldn't be better. There should be an advance-decline line that favors advancers. There should be more new highs. There should be more better-acting groups. But think about this. We haven't had the above fall into line since we got to 9000 this go around. And it hasn't mattered a whit. It just kept you out from a great 12% advance. Maybe there just won't be any respite and we will still get through 10,000. Maybe they are all ugly. Maybe that's just the way it is.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long IBM, Intel and Microsoft, although positions can 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