No respite for the PC industry today.
pronounces the death of the personal computer at the hands of computer appliances that, say, just answer email, as opposed to land astronauts on the moon and answer email.
issues a chilling note about a revenue shortfall at
, and there are shares of that former darling kicking around in the high 30s (I have 200 puts on Compaq instead of the 2,000 puts I should have had.)
And the bitter aftertaste of Steve Milunovich's
weakness call hangs over the market like the stench cast off by a Kraft paper-bag mill.
So much money has been made in this segment that it is difficult to imagine a time when you can't buy these stocks on weakness. But part of the job of a trader is knowing where the knives are falling and where the knives have hit their target and are no longer raining. Right now, the knives are still falling in personal computers.
What do I mean by this? Take the extended slide in the oil drillers. Many, many times people reiterated buy and reiterated buy -- as they will no doubt do today -- and all it did was gaffe you.
Me, I like wireless and telco. I am kicking myself that, for instance, I let go of my
, who simply knows this area better than anybody alive -- but I was so worried that all of tech was headed down in knee-jerk fashion that I took advantage of the ramp the other day and booted it. Now I can only hope that in the wake of the Compaq call the Qwests of the world come back down. But one train derailment does not mean all of the other trains come back into the station in orderly fashion.
Meanwhile, new tech, the Net and its adherents, might romp again off of a robust IPO market and some good numbers from "established" Net players. The dis-aggregation of tech as we know it continues, and the game gets more exciting, as one group powers ahead while another sputters.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, his fund held Compaq puts, though positions 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 by sending a letter to TheStreet.com.