The surreal world of the
went totally through the looking glass for me Monday when I ventured to the Nasdaq market site in Times Square.
There, dozens of reporters and commentators comment on the action in the Nasdaq as if we are at the nerve center for the market.
Of course, it is for show: The whole point of the Nasdaq is that there is no central place for the market. No matter, it's good theatre. Reporter after reporter stood in front of the screens talking about the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high.
I ran up there because
Fox 5 News
in New York wanted to do a little market piece with me. It was an eye-opener. Like many people in the business, I follow both Nasdaq and listed stocks. I have winners and losers on my screen.
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At the Times Square Nasdaq show, it was like someone had gotten rid of all of the losers. All I saw were stocks up 7 and 12 and 23 points. The parade of winners is so stark as to make me think I am an idiot to invest anywhere else.
Of course, it was a great day for the NDX. Still, when the conversation drifted to the listed stocks, I found myself thinking, once again, What's the point? The big money is all being made in the four-letter names.
Could it be that managers who formerly pegged themselves to the
are now, after last year's tremendous outperformance, trying to mimic the NDX? Could that be the reason for the strength?
I think so. I remember when the S&P 500 first started gaining traction as a method of investment. It used to go up just like this.
would go up day after day and nobody could figure out why the heck they were rallying. Turns out that people just wanted to get a piece of the action. And the action was in the S&P.
Now the action is in the NDX and we are seeing the same sort of move.
How long will it last?
How long did the S&P 500 move last?
Years and years and years.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. 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