You may hate the brokerage stocks, but you have to marvel how they act today in the face of terrible news. First, the "Heard on the Street" column takes dead aim at the group. It talks about hidden losses and terrible bond markets, the type of heat that usually causes some dislocations.

Then

Sanford Bernstein

, which has historically spoken highly about the industry, rolls out some damaging coverage, including underperforms on

Schwab

(SCH)

,

E*Trade

(EGRP)

and

Knight/Trimark

(NITE)

. Ouch, those usually inflict mortal damage on stocks. And what happens? Well, you have a screen. Take a look. These stocks are acting well. Heck, they are all up.

For me, that's cause for taking another look-see at a hated group. In fact, I even beeped

Jeff Berkowitz

, who is at the

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

presentation/lovefest and said that the ability to shake off bad news in the brokerages might mark an important short-term bottom.

I know you take your life into your hand when you talk about a bottom in this group, but let's face it, there is a massive amount of negativity built into these stocks. Hmmmm.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.