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doing the big-time cautious thing; coupled with an in-line revenue number, I don't seem much ramp here. In fact, the stock seems slated to retrace today's giant steps.

This time, though, it is even harder to read because the always-reliable

Greg Maffei

is no longer CFO. His resignation hurts on days like today because we can't tell if 'Soft is being more bearish than usual, or just the usual boilerplate bearish. He was the keeper of the boilerplate, the gauge of enthusiasm that we could all read.

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So we have seen the stock trade down a tad, nothing major in light of its big move today -- but nothing to be excited about either.

I am more concerned by its slowing PC chatter, as we are long



and have no desire to be spanked by Mister Softee's boilerplate. I will use that to buy more Compaq down, rather than sell it, because I don't think it is a true read of the demand.

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