What a confluence of old trader saws we have here. We don't want the rally to start too early because we could run into the late afternoon selling wave. But we need the rally to stay strong to fend off the margin clerks.

That's why we continue not to put new money in yet, and instead are playing with money that we've taken off from the opening or have sacrificed to satisfy the "he who defends all defends nothing" dictum.

Internally,

Todd Harrison

, our trader, is getting palpably bullish. Me, I'm cautiously optimistic. I want to wait until 2:30 p.m. before any new money comes in. If I were just plain optimistic, I would be in now. We are heartened by the action in

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and the

Philadelphia Semiconductor

index, but can't ignore the terrible action in the marginables.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.