Seemed Phony to Me

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Yeah, seemed phony to me, too. Like a bunch of mutual funds decided to mark up their portfolios. Oh, excuse me, chose to get extra aggressive the day before the month was over. Why bother?

In the meantime, we have seen a real change in the last hour of trading. It is no longer marred by margin calls. I used to write about this last hour for months, as margin clerks around the Street would call the

Long Term Capitals

and their derivatives and stocks would nosedive. People thought it was a


effect, but that's wrong. You were seeing the work of market professionals and their brethren, because who can resist buying SPX puts or selling futures when you see that kind of action daily?

The pickings will get tougher, no doubt, as the short-sellers finally give up and throw in the towel. But come November we will see a lot more mutual fund buying and, what the hey, October turned out to be pretty benign anyway.

Barring a Friday selloff, which we might have to expect after this ramp.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of

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 at