Hear that sound? It's the sound of
It's almost deafening here on Wall Street.
happening. Only us working stiffs in the office today; many players are in the Hamptons, on Cape Cod, at the park -- anyplace but here. So it seems.
What to do? Can't clean my desk -- that would destroy the functional messiness. Make some company and analyst calls? Please. Might as well be a telemarketer, given the low expected response.
It is incredibly illiquid out there. Take a look at yesterday's action. We had a nice rally off the bottom due to a rumor that
, an economics outfit, predicted that the
wouldn't tighten next week. When it was reported that the firm actually assigned only a 25% probability to no action, we sold back off.
Today is options-expiration day. Thus we have an even greater likelihood of unpredictable swings. On days like today, we like to look for information whose impact may be muted by the poor attendance on the Street.
calls it the
effect, named after a summer Friday several years ago on which Bristol's bad news went widely unnoticed until the stock got slammed Monday.
OK, what's the potential Bristol info? First and foremost, the articles in
The Wall Street Journal
article implied that a tightening is not a done deal.
Hmm, I am not smart enough to make the bet on what the Fed will do, but what that says to me is that the probability of a second rate rise is pretty low. Bullish. As I mentioned earlier, I'd much rather see a tightening and get it out of the way. Given the strong economic numbers we have seen, not as much angst on every bad number: A vigilant Fed is a good Fed.
What else? Though not that strong in the absolute, the
numbers for the Internet were up slightly for July, defying some seasonal downtrends. If the interest-rate environment and the dollar/yen relationship stabilize, maybe this is an area to play with.
Otherwise, I'm not doing much. Fighting the eyes from glazing as the expiration imbalances go by on the screen.
Jeff Berkowitz is a partner in hedge fund Cramer Berkowitz with James J. Cramer, co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, the fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. The 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 the fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Berkowitz'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