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Looking for a Shake-Out

What the market needs is to shake out those who don't belong, both stocks and highly-margined speculators.
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Did you ever wish that the whole darned market were lower? Did you ever think that you would dread how fast the market moved up to 11,000 without a correction?

That's the raw, seething emotion that I think underpinned the action all day Tuesday. As in "what the heck are we doing up here anyway? How did we get here? Now what do we do?"

Sometimes it happens like that. The skip from 1600 to 2300 felt like this a decade and a half ago. Some of the blitz through 6000 to 8000 often felt this rushed, this forced, this panicked.

Invariably, we did not hold and we had to find firmer ground, some place where we could breathe without the help of the oxygen of the programs and the rote 401k money and the mindless indexing.

This is a market that's just looking for an excuse to do some rolling over.

Oddly, that's okay. We have a right to feel out of breath. We sprinted to the summit and forgot how thin the air was up there. Now we have to work our way down in an orderly, non-chaotic fashion, to a base that makes sense, that can be built from. Maybe the base is a few


points below here, maybe it is 500


points below. Maybe it's two dozen

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points or 500 on the




It's just not here. Not now.

Does that make me a bear? Give me a break. The most bearish thing for this market right now would be to continue to climb, parabolic toward some huge Japanese-like blow-off.

That's why I want the market lower. So we can shake out those who don't belong, both stocks and highly-margined speculators. And begin the climb again. Slower and steadier, with no vertigo and no dizziness. And no chance of a major stumble from these exalted heights.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can 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