Wait a minute, put that coat down --

Gateway

(GTW)

just stank up the joint and we have to fumigate the PC positions.

Here is a classic collateral play. What is bad for Gateway

may not

be bad for everybody that competes in that space, but you know they will get sold down. These new after-hours trading folk are dumping their

Compaq

(CPQ)

and their

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and I wouldn't mind picking some up if you want to hit me! (At a discount of course!)

Join the discussion on

TSC

Message Boards.

Gateway is one of those companies I have always been loath to short. I like the stores too much. But it will be tomorrow's focus, unless

Beyond.com

(BYND) - Get Report

still has some supporters after that unbelievable

Wall Street Journal

piece last year.

Tomorrow there will be two camps: Those who think the problems are Gateway-specific, and those who think that the problems are industry-specific.

I wish I could tell you where I am in the dichotomy. I guess it is safe to say that, because I like Compaq, I think it is Gateway-specific. But I am one who lets the facts get in the way of a good story. So let's wait and see.

Random musings

: Notice that imbalance in

EMC

(EMC)

? That was the bottom. It often is that way in panic imbalances, unless there is bad news on the company. This was just some aggressive selling and it is important to note the difference.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long EMC, Compaq and Intel. 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.