The Paradox of This Market

Now is a good time to keep the bat on your shoulder and wait -- or just take a walk.
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Bonds are strong, but banks are trading terribly. The airlines are all weaker, but so are the drug stocks. Brokers are down, but the utilities average is up.

In other words, either we are using the paradoxical theorem of stock selection or the whole game has degenerated for now into random buying and selling.

That's a good time to try to find the next big idea, to avoid capital commitments, to keep the bat on your shoulder.

If you have to play, play it vicariously through me. At the opening with a firm bond market, I take some

Chase

(CMB)

, knowing that the company will not make a big acquisition, according to the morning papers.

My buy: $80.

Bonds get stronger and the stock sits. Bonds get stronger still, and the stock heads down. I boot it down a half, only to watch it decline another point in the blink of an eye.

Thin, edgeless, paradoxical markets.

I say, save the irony for novels.

Time to go for a walk.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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

letters@thestreet.com.