So I step out of the office for 15 minutes, I come back, and some sell program has taken the market apart. But then I look closer and, of course, it is not the market, it is the
Dow Jones Industrial Averages
! Those nasty little relics. And thank heavens for
. Who knows where it would have ended without those two horsemen?
This will forever be the week where people realized that those brand name stocks were doing it all with smoke and mirrors. The growth for the
was always suspect. Some was cost cutting. Some was tax rate. Some was currency. There was always something going their way.
But the string ran out this week and we discovered that single-digit growth, mid-single-digit growth, is not enough to support a growth multiple on earnings.
This was a devastating week for the hybrid folks, the ones who thought they could own the highest growth nontech stocks. Only tech is generating the kind of growth this market is paying for. Any company that is trying to maintain low double-digit growth and can't will be similarly crushed as P&G was.
At the end of the week I found myself repeatedly drawn to shorting
. That premium-selling repository of brands that once sold at a premium seems ripe for the banging. But I can't go there. There are plenty of other ways to skin the brand cat.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Intel and Microsoft. 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