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Striking Oil

Cramer tells you how to play this morning's bullish calls on the oil-service sector.

Oh great. A whole bunch of firms bulled the oil-service stocks this morning. That means, to me, that they will all open too high and you have to sell them rather than buy them.

That's not a cynical view -- it is reality. When the research departments at








all go on their squawk boxes and pound the table, you get delayed openings and gaps -- just the kind of things that are unnatural to the usual action of the stocks. That's great if you are long a whole portfolio of these stocks, but it is worthless if you are trying to get in them to establish positions.

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Already most of them are up a buck or more in premarket trading.

Lately, stock recommendations haven't had much impact. Wall Street is in such a short-term funk, a real negative mode, that you don't see many people taking these buy recommendations seriously. For example, earlier this week a firm recommended



. I thought it was worth a couple of bucks to the stock and bought it when it opened almost unchanged. But it stayed that way all day.

But when several firms push the same stocks, you'll get the kind of pin action that people will sit up and take notice of.

Watch these stocks today. Watch for this pattern. They will open up big, too big. Then they should drift down. If you are inclined to buy them, I would move then -- during the drift down, not the opening.

Why not gamble with the opening? Because no firms -- specialist or Wall Street -- have any oil-service stocks in inventory. They will have to short them, or create the stocks, to meet the demand. They will then battle the stocks lower to bring in their shorts. After they have brought some of that stock in at lower levels, then you make your buys.

This is typically the pattern when four firms push the same stocks. It could be different this time, but I am not betting that way.

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