The velocity of this decline is certainly daunting. I go to buy some
at 120 and I get a 117 report. I try to buy some
, which is the worst-acting stock that is doing well as a company that I have come across, and I get whacked a point lower than I was willing to pay.
That's the good news.
When there is this much chaos I usually expect things to come to a head, but there are too many stocks that
and making things tougher. You want to go buy the
, but not up a buck and a half. How about
at its high? Intriguing? Not for me.
We just don't have that climactic "I have had enough of this market," type of selloff that we get, usually as a function of a
going negative -- can't that be far away?
I'm taking things in slowly, sticking in low-ball bids like those of AOL and T at levels I can live with if I get hit. I know, that's incredibly unaggressive if not downright boring, but heck, if I want aggression, I'll stick to the off-line press.
A lot of times on days like today I find out at 2 p.m. that some savvy hedge fund manager was shorting the heck out of the market with the futures. It would not shock me if we do find out that's what has happened. The selling is too concentrated, too out of control, and not at all connected with "real" sellers -- just futures spillover.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication the fund was long AOL and AT&T, 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 an email to