Examining the Psychology of the Seller - TheStreet

Examining the Psychology of the Seller

Cramer calls the latest selling mere noise and feels the fundamentals will return in the intermediate term.
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Does this

Gary B. Smith

rule about buying the first dip rock or what? Yesterday we spent a half-hour on

Unisys

(UIS) - Get Report

away from the conference call. We wanted to buy this sucker down 15. But GBS says no can do, and we looked the other way. Saved 15%.

Cramer's Latest: Join the discussion on our

message boards.

Indeed, the psychology of the seller has become the most important aspect of this market. Will the venture capitalists sell when the great quarter is reported? The momentum funds might bail, so why not bail ahead of them? Will the tech mutual funds seek to lock in a profit after three good quarters? Will Julian Robertson sell because of

Tiger's

poor performance? Will market timers sell when the long bond goes to 6.5%?

Of course, what's annoying about all of this is that it has nothing to do with the fundamentals. We have been blindsided this week by sellers who seem almost insensitive to the prices at which they lose stocks. Only margined sellers who get sold out by margin calls are harder to read.

Because the sellers are not motivated by fundamentals, I got smoked on

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. I say they don't care enough about fundamentals because I know enough of the sellers to know that they actually love Yahoo! but had to sell it because it was their discipline to sell.

If you believe, as I do, that the fundamentals will prevail over the intermediate term, then this kind of selling is just noise. Until the intermediate term occurs, though, the selling is deafening.

Random musings:

OK, I have done my share of knocking

CNBC

, but I have to tell you that Bob Pisani lately has been doing some great work from the floor -- really great and very even-handed. It is a pleasure. ... Did I hear that Paul Mitchell guy on

CNBC

just now saying that, because of Y2K, people are hoarding conditioner?

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.