You have to be oblivious to the world of technicals to miss that retest we had yesterday. Even I, so quick to castigate the point and figure souls, saw that 3000 and change level hold on the

Nasdaq

.

I like to look at it another way. I like to think if we were out a year from now and it turned out the market had bottomed in mid-May, what would the reason be? Would we be able to pinpoint some information that came out that made the bottom legitimate?

The only thing I can point to is you. Your letters about the losses. Your contrite passages about the carnage. Your statements about how things have gotten so difficult, so tough, that you don't want to play.

Is it possible that things have gotten so hard that people no longer "feel" wealthy enough to spend? Is it possible that so many people got caught middotcom and are now living on less with less hope than a year ago? Could it have happened that fast?

I don't know. I can tell, however, again from the emails yesterday that came out in response to Jeff's

letter , that there's been real damage out there and that things won't return to the way they were.

IF YOU THINK, AS I DO, THAT THIS SELLOFF IS THE WORK OF THE

FEDERAL RESERVE

, DESPERATE TO COOL THINGS OFF, THEN THE VISCERAL PAIN IS A SIGN THAT THE FED MIGHT BE ALMOST BE DONE WITH THE TIGHTENING.

You know from my series about

1994 that there were many false hopes in 1994. This selloff and rally yesterday may be just one more. I wish I could be more sure. I felt that the selling exhausted itself Monday. It would be fitting if it did so at just the moment when the consumer spending weakened enough to get the Fed off our backs. But, as I said in the

Nightmare series, it will take "time" to know. We haven't had enough time in the cellar to know yet.

Ah, therein lies the beauty of the market. We don't need to make the determination and bet hard that way. We make soft bets until we know more. We just don't know enough yet to call this a bottom.

We do know, however, that the short side, which has been bountiful, didn't feel right yesterday. Which is why we covered them all. And we will wait to put out any more until we are 400 to 500 points higher in the NAZZDOGS.

Random musings:

Many thanks to all of your testimonials about how tough it has gotten. Please read my Nightmare series today about how it can get better if you wait for your pitch.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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.