Batten Down the Hatches

The shorts are out in force, as the negative rumors attest.
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Oh, do the bears want it down today. Rumors flying about Intel (INTC) - Get Report not being that strong off of a Montgomery presentation -- wrong, but who can refute that kind of touchy-feely bogus negativity? Rumors that Micron (MU) - Get Report has some problem, sure, why not? Sounds plausible. Stock's had a big run. ... 3Com (COMS) pricing pressure. Boy, talk about the usual bear suspects. Hey, no split, no big number bumps Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report -- now I am really shaking. And what's this -- Mister Softee (MSFT) - Get Report down for the count in the courtroom because of some weirdo error!!

Whenever I hear this many negative rumors, I know that there is a ton of money bet one way, and that bettors are starting to freak out that they won't be able to bring home the bacon.

What's the reality? It's business as usual, but the stocks have had a big run. The news out of Montgomery on my end has been uniformly positive. Tech business is pretty good. Big deals for Net companies. But when the rumor-mongers put out the word, it is batten down the hatches until they have brought their shorts in.

So watch the puts; watch for selling in the

SPX

, look for the tell from Cisco, the tell that it has stopped going down. And don't shoot till you see the whites of the bears' eyes!!!

Random musings:

Man, that was some awful furniture bet I saw in the

Barron's

Roundtable. Both

Steelcase

(SCS) - Get Report

and

Herman Miller

(MLHR) - Get Report

have blown up before the ink was dry. Ouch!! It wasn't just the Sandra Ward/Biggs blow-up that was embarrassing.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication the fund was long Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, though 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 by sending an email to letters@thestreet.com.