Cramer Disregards Friday Numbers, Focuses on Future

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By James Cramer

Go ahead, waste your time analyzing the doggone unemployment number. Sift through the hourly wage component. Study the relationship between the number of workers and the rate of inflation. Base your whole investment philosophy on those eight numbers strung together that say how many jobs were created during the month of March.

I'm looking at something else. I'm looking at April. And I like what I see. I am seeing a slowing economy, being brought down to a nice but not white-hot clip by a decline in consumer spending.

You can look in the rear view mirror. I'm driving and I am looking at what awaits us. To wit:

My retailers are telling me that things are below plan relative to last year, and certainly below the hopping pace of January and February.

My auto companies aren't putting a rosy picture on the future.

General Motors

got downgraded by long-time backer

Prudential

. Light trucks, which have been the engine of the auto-economy, seem to have reached saturation. Now that tax refunds are paid, the slowdown should be palpable.

Liner board, an incredibly sensitive commodity, is falling off a cliff.

Oil and gas are teetering at a level that people would have said was impossibly low just three months ago.

Aluminum and steel are bumping along at lowly levels, certainly not indicative of a boiling economy.

The chief creator of wealth, your handy-dandy mutual fund manager, seems to make you poorer by the day.

Look, I'm not saying we are out of the woods. I'm just saying that the overwhelming focus on employment may not be right, that the job growth in the country is an indicator of business people trying to meet demand they saw in January and February.

That demand seems to be dampened in exactly the way the Fed imagined.

You may think this is all a fairy tale. But for some the last 5000 points have been a fairy tale.

Not for me. For me the last 5000 points have been money in the bank.

So will the next 5000.

*****

Irrational Exuberance Death Watch:

The president of

Amerindo

, in an otherwise wildly positive Heard in

The Wall Street Journal

about a fund whose sole style is to buy high, wouldn't return calls to the paper asking how the first quarter finished.

Merrill Lynch

, a long-time bull on

IBM

, can't take the pain. It downgraded Big Blue Friday morning, hardly an endorsement of runaway growth.

Prudential

raised cash Friday morning, moving its bond allocation from 25% to 15%. That's a sign of fear -- something the market needs to see more of before it can move decisively higher.

James Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of

The Street.

His fund holds long positions in 30-year Treasury bonds. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback, emailed to

Jjcramerco@aol.com.