Pressing for the Right Words

If it weren't for 3Com and Merck, the cynics would have had nothing to worry about today.
Publish date:

"Continued woes about the real weighed on the..." Nope, doesn't work, real's real stable. "Worries about higher-than-expected employment growth..." Oops, guess that's out for another month. "Fears over ground-troop commitments..." Uh-uh, hasn't been done, so can't do that. "Nosebleed valuations panicked Net buyers..." Outright lie, can't use that.

"The worrisome narrowness of the market." Hmmm, too many issues up for that one. "Relentless Japanese selling." Too much of a stretch given the strength in the


. "The poor performance of



on the




(MRK) - Get Report

on the

New York Stock Exchange

spooked some investors Monday." Ah, at last, something to go with, something to hang the old newsman's hat on.

Yep, if you think it is tough being a bear, put yourself in the shoes of the talking heads/journalists who have been bearish for 8,000 or 9,000 points. They must be exhausted by days like today. I mean, it must be worse than covering one of those walkover football games that Southern colleges schedule in order to boost their AP ratings. (I know, in my former life I covered some of them as a reporter at the

Tallahassee Democrat

; painful affairs.)

There's just not enough to complain about. Not enough to grouse over. You can't envy these people. The majority of their short-selling sources have had their heads handed to them. Can't call them savvy if they are losing money. The big .com fiasco hasn't occurred. And even the


hand has been stilled by slowing employment growth.

It's downright, well, hmmm, ooh, this hurts. Ooouuchy (as my 4-year-old would say), BULLISH. Thank heavens for 3Com and Merck!

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