The Rally Before the Numbers

Everybody likes to square things off ahead of the great unknown. This time it is the bears reeling in their good fortune ahead of the data.
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Ah, the old short-covering rally ahead of the Big Bad Number. Everybody likes to square things off ahead of the great unknown. This time it is the bears reeling in their good fortune ahead of the numbers.

You think this market is treacherous for the longs? For the shorts it can be your worst nightmare. Stocks that you thought were beaten to a pulp, wrestled to the ground by the likes of those scrawny souls in the

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

ads, come right back to life,

Wes Craven

-like, and make you pay.

Take this

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

. Do you know how much bear firepower has been wasted trying to bring that sucker down? Can you imagine the barrels of honey these guys have ripped through? They have tried everything: shortfall, DSO, rumors, transition switch, Y2K.

And there it is standing, like Mr. Ranger in

Jellystone National Park

. To which I say good luck bears, go pick on the next

Inacom

(ICO)

or

Benchmark Electronics

(BHE) - Get Report

.

Leave the good stuff alone.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.