Jim Cramer fills his blog on
every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
- thin trading,
- the end of the Goldman scrutiny, and
- navigating an indecisive market.
for information on
, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
Thin Trading Distorts the Market Story
Posted at 3:49 p.m. EST, Feb. 8, 2009
It's difficult to read anything into anything these days. Why is someone selling
here? Why is someone buying
The answer isn't what you think. The answer is, how can a handful of sellers destroy stocks? How can the buyers of these stocks move them so easily?
The answer is simple: There are not enough players out there. Not enough at all. Institutions can't move in this tape. If you are a large holder in the major banks and you want to swap into the regional banks, you can't find enough buyers or sellers not to move these equities. You just can't get in and out.
Nobody seems to want to position these stocks, meaning that no big firm will buy or sell blocks of these stocks to get something done.
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It is natural to presume there is something "wrong" with
and something "right" with Zions. Believe me, as Peter Eavis reported in this weekend's
, Zion's is a hobbled giant, even as my friend and colleague Matt Horween notes that the Zions bonds have been screaming. Wells is in much better shape.
But, even as these stocks are supposed to be liquid as all get-out, there's no place to go for the sellers, and the buyers are overwhelming the offerings.
I haven't seen this kind of illiquidity in ages, and it has to do, again, with no new money in. It no coincidence that there are so many brokerage price wars (for a view to profit on this trend, you must read
on one of the best specs out there), as the interest in stocks seems to be diminishing by the day.
You know, I feel this is a big mistake. But you also need to recognize what's going on here: thin markets complicating any analysis of what is happening.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
Goldman Can Thrive Away From the Spotlight
Posted at 1:39 p.m. EST, Feb. 10, 2009
Is it possible? Can the banks really go up? Can they go up in an atmosphere of gloom and doom? Shouldn't we have written off this group? Or does every dog have its day?
I think it is a little of both. You see, we don't know what the normalized earnings models are for any of these. But we
know that if you scrap the Volcker Rule, you can start wondering how long
can trade at 5 times earnings. You can begin to wonder what happens if we actually grow employment so people can start paying off their mortgages again instead of looking for reasons not to.
More important, though, is that the headline risk for the group seems to be diminishing with the fated bonus cut by Lloyd Blankfein. I know, I know, it shouldn't mean a thing.
I am now beginning to think it means
. The idea that Lloyd Blankfein paid himself less than most CEOs is a sign that Goldman Sachs is no longer Public Enemy No. 1. I also think that
The New York Times
' endless attempts to portray Goldman Sachs as a Treasury looter (a la
) and the puppeteer of all people in government has finally ended with a piece this weekend that read like a parlor game of old clips. The stock didn't get hit.
This all matters. Nobody wants to own stocks that can be trashed by the Bear in Chief on any day he chooses.
I think that today's reaction is in part earnings, in part President Obama moving on to another cause, perhaps unionization or expropriation. Whatever.
Just not Goldman.
That could be enough.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs.
Tough to Keep Up With an Indecisive Market
Posted at 3:15 p.m. EST, Feb. 12, 2009
Let's just trade on anything, on every tick, on every penny of everything. Today's another travesty day, just ridiculous, where we decide in the morning that the Volcker Rule is game on -- courtesy of a
interview with the man himself -- and then later in the day it's game off as we hear from random senators. In the meantime
go from being hammered to being standouts.
It's a day where
down big on the oil futures and then it rallies as the
futures pressure abates as the money from the
add gets raised.
It's a day where we heard that
was "light" on earnings and then we decide the numbers are great.
sends the industrials down and then we recognize that IR doesn't make heavy equipment like the old days -- the Bobcat -- and we rally ... well,
China's killed on a stealth raise ahead of the Chinese New Year, so heavy-lifter
( BUCY) gets annihilated but then cooler heads prevail and it soars.
Who can trade in this ridiculous environment?
You simply have to find a story you truly believe in -- I am focused on
-- and just buy it when this nonsense occurs. I have never seen a tougher time to have conviction, but conviction you must have not to be shaken out by the noise and the nonsense that determine stock prices at this moment.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Chevron.
Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio,
. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.
Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.
Mr. Cramer is the author of "
," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.