Great question from
this morning regarding
today's column on
and the reverse short squeeze: "Who won in this short squeeze?"
Answer: The only winners were traders who were lucky enough to get in and out before the fall -- and the few (if any were remaining) shorts who had the tenacity to hang on.
Otherwise, the irony (and pity) of short squeezes is that in the end
loses. The shorts, who get the fundamentals right but the stock wrong, lose. So do the longs who either got too greedy or didn't know why they owned the stock (but hung on because they thought they were geniuses -- you don't even want to know the anecdotal stories about folks who have taken credit card offers, written checks to the limit and opened margin accounts!). This is greater-fool-theory stuff, and the
of the world are much more likely to win than the Johnny-come-lately daytrader who is margined to the eyeballs. (And even Cramer doesn't win all the time!)
Interestingly, in retrospect, I think this column's archives show (as a contra-indicator) this market reaching its peak. The first warning sign: Feb. 28, when I wrote,
"How So Many Stocks are Being Gamed." Second warning, March 1:
"Why Herb is Talking Like a Born-Again Bull." (Cramer was asked in a chat following that column what he thought about my turning into a bull, although I really hadn't become one; it was an April Fool's joke a month early, but it reflected what I was sensing in the market. Cramer responded that my talking that way was "scary.")
The warnings continued on March 3, with
"Beware of the Mother of Short Squeezes." That was followed on March 10 with,
"In Awe of the Nasdaq," March 14 with,
"The Gaming of the Market, Continued," and March 15 (this should have been the dead giveaway),
"Hunting for Safe Stocks."
Oh, and on our "TheStreet.com" show on
last week I predicted that the
would touch 4400 this week. (Not there yet as I write this.) I don't know diddly about predicting what the market will do, but I do trust my gut, and the pendulum
to swing back again this week after the way it swung last week. It did just that this morning, but, oops, looked again -- it swung back the other way.
(Final warning: I fancy myself a market timer.)
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at
email@example.com. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.
Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.