Selling and Reloading

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Yeah, I know, it didn't hold. That's what happens when you have a tough tape. But the advance-decline, the market's lifeblood, held in, even as a ton of stocks took it on the chin at the bell.

All I can say is get used to it. We are not in October of 1997. There's too much craziness and too much weakness. Sure, the banks can rally after all the bad news is out. But then, whoa, once they have rallied, then what do people do? They sell.

I know I did it. Hey, I bought some

Mellon

(MEL)

only to sell some Mellon. Bought some

BankBoston

(BKB)

to sell some (I said on

CNBC

these were trades and that's what trades are).

But the underpinnings continue to erode. Today the ugliness came in retail and airlines. Again, concentrated selling by a couple of really aggressive accounts in names like

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

and

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

were mesmerizing to those of us who monitor key names that were once darlings.

Let's come back to

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

. I gave up on Gap today, not wanting to be in for comparable-store sales numbers that come out Thursday. But that's the cover for why I sold it. I actually couldn't stand the pain generated by the humongo "repeat seller" in the name.

A repeat seller is someone who loads up to sell, fires and then loads up again. Repeat sellers are the nemeses of longs. They roam the earth destroying charts, making mayhem, generating pain. And they never finish.

This Gap seller never finishes.

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

At the time of publication the fund was short the Gap and Mellon Bank, though positions 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 by sending a letter to TheStreet.com at

letters@thestreet.com.