Get With the Programs

The talking heads got it wrong again when they said there were no sell programs Thursday.
Author:
Publish date:

Hold it!

I just heard on the box that there were no sell programs to speak of today. That's just plain WRONG!

NDX

sell programs and

MSH

sell programs (tech and more tech) colored things throughout the day and accelerated at the bell. They were relentless. These programs were directly responsible for the vast majority of the OTC weakness.

What triggers them? Chiefly, fears generated by

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

. Secondarily, worries sown by Wall Street firms about

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

earnings. Third,

IBM's

(IBM) - Get Report

diss of everybody else but IBM.

Why did we set up this online financial information system? One reason is that, when you get total disinformation, such as "there were no programs," I can tell you, wait a second, I saw a gazillion of them today.

Does that mean that the

Nasdaq

wouldn't have gone down without them?

Absolutely not.

It just means that the frightening pace of the decline can be pinned directly to managers putting on massive short positions in derivatives that instantly spilled over to the stocks.

For me, as I have indicated, I used the programs to do some buying, but not much, because I don't want to be in too big when Oracle explains that all is bad in PCs and dots and that's why ORCL is doing badly. I nibbled at

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, I bought a little

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. Nothing big.

But I always let the programs work for me. You can, too, provided you know that's what's driving things. You sure wouldn't know that from listening to the talking heads. Oh yeah, the programs started at 1:30 p.m., case you were wondering.

Random musings:

Looks like another great

story by retail reporter

Suzanne Kapner

on

Nordstrom

(NOBE)

missing the quarter. What a money-making call!!

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

letters@thestreet.com.