The rhythm of the shorts. That's what the ramp was yesterday. Here's a time-honored pattern that you will thank me for once you spot it as often as I do.

We are now in the quiet period. That's raidin' time! That's when traders who live under rocks surface to say they hear that National Gift Wrap & Telco didn't make the quarter. Of course, because we are in the last month of the quarter, National can't comment to refute the subterranean allegation. (Them's the rules; I don't make them.)

This raid is especially powerful if most of National's execs are on a plane somewhere to Singapore or stuck in board meetings and can't be beeped. You can see the put-buying and the shorts pressing their bets.

What then happens, of course, is anybody's guess. Sometimes the raid succeeds, and the stock cascades and the shorts cover profitably. But sometimes they get a smack to the head because the company somehow leaks that it is


going to have a conference call at the end of the day to guide down numbers. In other words, it gives guidance by not giving guidance! No conference call? No blowup. No blowup? No juicy price to cover. No juicy price to cover? Short squeeze.

Yesterday, for instance, there were rumors that


(INTC) - Get Report

was going to have to preannounce to the downside. I heard these vibrate despite my day off spent with the wife and kids. But they weren't true. (That's the same as saying they were a lie, by the way.) And the stock flew as shorts frantically covered.

That's the rhythm of the shorts. Like

Investor's Business Daily

says: Read it, learn from it and profit from it!

Random musings:

From the "Stop Me Before I Immolate" Department: I am buying more long bonds.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of 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