The Market Ain't No <I>Monopoly</I> Game

Last time Cramer checked, the Transports mattered in <I>Monopoly</I>, but that's about it.
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I don't care that millions are being made in the stock market. The Transports haven't hit their high. As long as that hasn't happened, I am staying away, because I once heard somewhere that any move in the stock market is phony unless it is confirmed by the action in a couple of railroads and a trucking company. Yep, no way that I will get long



if these rails don't start kicking butt! I need the rails to win this game.

Wait a second!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What are we playing here,


? Last I looked that's about the only place the (*&%(*$*&$ rails really mattered. In fact, I stole the


from my daughter the other day by a trade of the

Electric Company and Water Works

, giving me all FOUR rails and 200 smackers per landing. Hoo-hah!! Had to let her take Park Place from me for Vermont to get her back in the game.

Yeah, I hear in the background that people are shaking their heads over the Transports. Last week it was the Utilities. Boy, I hate to smash a few idols here, but do we really think, when AOL is among the 10 largest companies in the country, that we should be bound by the action in

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

? Hasn't the world changed enough in our faces that we should care more about the


than the Transports? Is this too outlandish, too unrigorous? Or is it just a way to make money?

Let me be a real iconoclast for a second. Excuse me, but maybe if the Transports are going up that's actually bad for the New Market. Walk though this one with me. What


really fears is a reignition of inflation. What would show us that? Why, an increase in airline, truck fares and train fares, of course. If the Transports are flying, maybe that means the


would tighten. If the Fed tightens, the New Market goes down, not up!!! Heck, there's the logic behind the market. That's the really rigorous view.

What's wrong with this thinking? One is that it flies in the face of what all the journalists focus on. (Oooh, really scary.) Two, it flies in the face of market tradition. (Give me a break.) Three, well there is no three.

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