Is there a short-seller left?
If you ask me what my biggest worry about the market up here is, I would have to tell you that there aren't enough bears out there shorting stocks.
Join the discussion on
Message Boards. We need bear fodder to make a run at much higher highs. We need more people selling
short -- those are the same as shorting the
-- and we need people making big bets against tech.
How important is this fuel? Two stocks that ramped this week,
, did so on the backs of the shorts. In Microsoft's case, a whole bunch of people were short call options, most notably the 105s, 110s and 115s. The stock ramped right through without giving people time to bring their shorts in. The result was a $50 billion explosion in market cap, the second in as many weeks (remember
?). The Intel came on the backs of the people who shorted it after
downgraded the stock 8 points ago. That call was taken by many hedge funds to mean that the quarter might have been stinku enough that Intel had to preannounce.
That crushed the shorts. The result: a quick 8-point spurt. You need panic-coverers to make this market sprint. We don't have enough shorts in the market to do it. If it is just longs purchasing, we will get there, but not with the speed or the alacrity that many of us want.
(Confused about this? Don't worry, I will rewrite it this weekend. More important, I have written extensively about panic-covering in the
Cramer icon on the right side of the home page. Click there to find out more.)
Still no lift to the drugs and the banks. They can't be bought until the waning days of the year because some of them have real earnings problems.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Microsoft, Intel and Yahoo!. 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