We are back to price-break territory here at Cramer Berkowitz. That means if we can find some merchandise that is down for no reason (sloppy seller, price downgrade as opposed to a downgrade based on fundamentals), we swoop in because it may be the only chance we can get.
Last week, I
outlined how we got a chance to buy
because of a ridiculous close that should never have occurred. We picked up 5 points and we remain long the name.
There was pressure in the paper stocks last week as a bunch of sellers materialized. They are all bouncing back nicely. Similarly the euro weakness crushed
midweek, which gave us a great opportunity to snare some of that quality name. And the pullout of
list (it was in last year's list but was taken out of this year's, causing some near-term weakness as a lot of money is indexed to the list and AMAT had to be sold by those Lehman Uncommon Values index managers) gave you a shot at buying that name.
Right now, we are buying some
for this same reason: because we can. We don't have to pay up. Understand, this kind of buying typically doesn't work today. Allied is under heavy arbitrage pressure because of the
acquisition. We think the quarter is solid, but the arbitragers want to sell this thing to us.
I would similarly be tempted to buy
here, except that stock is directly affected by bonds, and we still have soggy bonds.
What I am stressing is opportunism here. When we have these summer blow-offs to the upside -- and this is most certainly one of those -- you have to be incredibly nimble if you want in. In the old days when I traded with my wife, she said that periodically the market would be in a burner mode, where "supply begets demand."
We are in that mode right now.
Clarification on the
rewrite. Some of you are naive about the ways of market-makers. If you work at the OTC desk of a firm that is doing a buy-in of a customer of, say National Gift Wrap and Box Co., you might get a call from your stock loan department that your desk has to do a buy-in of 25,000 shares. You might take 25,000 shares quietly from all over the place and then sell those 25,000 shares to your own stock loan desk -- you are screwing the bought-in customer, not stock loan -- at a high price
after the market closes
. So, let's say your National Gift is at 28. Your stock loan department says, "You have to buy in 25,000 National Gift because a customer has failed to deliver."
You then take a thousand here in the 30s and then the 40s, and even buy some in the 50s. By that point, some short-sellers will panic and buy it even higher and then, after the close, you can "cross" stock at 90. The bought-in customer pays $90 -- unbeknownst to him -- and the desk makes a tidy profit. Should this happen? NO. Does it happen? Yes, all of the time.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Dayton-Hudson, Nokia, Applied Materials and AlliedSignal. 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