Home-Building Goods Gathering Dust - TheStreet

The retail sales number next Tuesday could be an eye-opener. As the buzzards banged the drug stocks lower at the close, we went the other way because we think that number is going to shock people into realizing that the slowdown could spiral into the fastdown without much problem.

That's a recipe for


(PEP) - Get Report


American Home Products




(PFE) - Get Report

and for


(CLX) - Get Report


It is not a recipe for stocks that need aggressive consumer spending. We are increasingly coming to realize that the source of consumer spending in this country was the stock market. It was not job growth. I know that is heresy. But I think on Tuesday, my heresy will seem like dogma. (For an interesting take on which retailers are holding up well, see


Katherine Hobson's

story earlier this week.

I could be wrong. But as I write,

Boise Cascade

(BCC) - Get Report

is blowing up. You don't want to be a seller of their products. And many retailers do just that. We have a massive inventory backup in housing products in this country.

There is more lumber and wood and plywood and doors and windows and power tools than we know what to do with. And they are sitting on the shelves of retailers all over the country, as Tuesday's number will show.

Random musings

: Dirty Thirty series to be augmented by Gary B. Smith's charts.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Pepsi, American Home Products, Pfizer and Clorox. 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