Gee, I wish I could be as bearish as those commentators on TV. Ah, it must be such a great relief to say this isn't a rally. Don't pay attention to the prices on your screen! They can't be taken to the bank.

How positively statesmanlike! Sage alert!

All I can tell you as what I told

Jeff Berkowitz

this morning in one of our 40 strategy sessions: "The last CPI number scared me and made me very nervous. This one makes me less nervous."

Jeff came back and put it quantitatively, geek that he is: "If you thought this market was a three before on a one-to-five scale, one being great and five being Jim Grant-like, you now think it is a two."Sure, I want to hear what

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has to say. But I can't tell you that I am on the fence until he talks. Let's say he says he has to stay tough on inflation and vigilant and that he might tighten. Do I have to wait until then to buy? I have heard that before. About 200 times in the last 12 years.

Market wound up higher each time.

I would prefer to buy ahead of that, not after it.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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