Putting the Fed to Bed

Now that the Street has stopped waiting for the ax to fall, it's time to focus on stocks.
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Two out of three ain't bad, I guess. People are thrilled with

Lycos

(LCOS)

-- talk about a good decision to walk away from a deal. (You think the

USWest

(USW)

people are watching?) Commerce generated the upside; advertising was okay. But, lordy, we know this: DOT buyers love splits and Lycos delivered the goods! The after-market buyers seem to be encouraged, too, by

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, particularly by the orders. Nice buying up a buck.

But, bummer, they are not happy with

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

. I just bought some at 41 and change, thinking that while in-line is not blow-out, it is not poison either. Looks boring on the surface; have to wait until the conference call.

The good news is that we can focus on stocks now. We don't have that shroud of the

Fed

over our heads. We will now begin a pattern where every soft macro number will ignite a rally and every strong number will immediately precipitate a selloff. That's an OK environment for stock pickers, but it is not too good if you are running around 100% long. You get the wrong number, and as my 7-year-old played in her piano recital the other night: "Pop Goes the Weasel."

Random musings:

Join me on the AOL chat at 5 p.m. Please fire away.

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

letters@thestreet.com.