(INTC) - Get Report

get squeezed up today? For most of Thursday morning, the chip behemoth's stock was on a tear. It seemed like Intel was benefiting from that rosy PC glow emanating from the


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(IBM) - Get Report


But then, like a ball that looked like it was headed for the fences, the stock stopped short and turned into a virtual can of corn. That 110 touch felt like just another put-out for the chip giant.

The rumors swirled. Conference call after the close: Intel. Negative. And nobody wanted to touch it. Sure enough, after the bell, traders informed us that Intel had called a hasty one. The stock looked doomed.

"Ahh, now I know why this stock got hammered," I thought to myself. "It wasn't the Dell-IBM deal at all. It was a blowup."

But this time it was different. Intel wasn't blowing up at all. It was buying

Level One

(LEVL) - Get Report

in a deal that everybody knows about now. This one was such a closely guarded secret that I saw people shorting Level One all day, in part because it was downgraded that morning by some now goat-of-the-game analyst.

Hedge funds who shorted Intel all day yesterday on rumors of an announcement must now cover, even though the deal, which involves a massive issuance of shares, is not additive. That smells like opportunity, but as I write this, there is none for sale anywhere near where it went out. (For a trade, I believe it works. For a trade.)

That's what a short squeeze always feels like.

Looks like one is in store for Intel today.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At the time of publication, his fund was not long Intel, though positions 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 by sending a letter to