Strength Amid the Weakness

Such strength is what Cramer wants to be in, and he looks for signs of it in a down tape like the one we had yesterday.
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We are seeing some of the usual patterns this morning. The market opens up when we really want it to open down so we can flush out the sellers.

Then the "uplift" brings out sellers, and the stuff that nobody likes slinks down.

In the meantime, a host of stocks begin to buck the trend, opening flat and then rallying. That is where I want to be. I want to be in stuff that has strength even when surrounded by weakness.

Take yesterday, a really ugly day. From the get-go,

Tyco

(TYC)

had strength. It seemed a little ridiculous that it was going up. In fact, its strength brought out flippers and sellers, all of whom were incredulous that the stock could rally in such an awful tape.

That's precisely what I look for. That kind of strength in a down tape shows me that something is going right. Sure enough, on the Tyco conference call, which coincided with that disastrous

Lucent

(LU)

call, I heard all of the things I like to hear from a company that is obviously kicking butt: high confidence in the outlook and the numbers.

I put this out now, so you can know what I am thinking on the day after. Normally, when the market is in buy mode, I look to buy weakness, but when we are in selloff mode, I look for pockets of strength

to tell me where to go

.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.