When you have giant pools of capital competing for a handful of stocks with a very small float, you get monstrous moves, irrespective of what the
do. On days like today we have to fight to keep some names on because the natural tendency is to believe that, eventually, they have to come for everything.
We own a stock that was up 30 points today right into the chaos that was a pretty ugly day. We wanted to sell it because we figured, "What right does that stock have to be up so much on a day like today?"
But we then put ourselves in the heads of the buyers. They saw "the story" last week at
. They did the work on the stock. And they probably run billions of dollars each. If they were to buy only 5,000 or 10,000 shares of this company, it would mean nothing to them. It would be a bad use of their time and resources. They can only justify a minimum position of 100,000 shares. That's where the fireworks come in.
These managers know that they cannot possibly stop buying a stock once they buy it. Someone else will buy it and take it up if they don't. We all like the same stories. We all know that these stocks are headed higher because the demand is so great for them.
So they queue up with a broker and they give him a working order to get 100,000 shares in. Every day they re-enter the order and every day they buy a little more. The order has nothing to do with the Dow Jones or the S&P -- it has to do with the company they are buying. They are impervious to the selling going on around them. All they are supposed to do is get the stock in.
Now, I am not impervious to the selling. I see it. I am not immune to the pain of the market even if I may, from time to time, be immune to the pain of a stock. So, my first reaction had historically been to say: Those buyers ought to look at their screens; don't they see the carnage? And I would hit them with stock.
But that's not how it works anymore. These giant pools of capital can't keep one eye on the macro or one eye on the Dow. Their mantra is to "get it in." So days like today, hard days for the S&P, are just like any other days. They are just days to buy.
And that's how you get this ridiculous two-tiered market.
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