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The Searing Pain of the Short Side

Never been there? It's not easy, as those who are short Amazon can attest today.
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Never underestimate the power of the Street when it gets behind a name.

Today two firms,

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette





, get behind


(AMZN) - Get Inc. Report

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and they take it for a 10-point ride at the opening. Those who are short Amazon immediately feel the intense searing pain. Never been there? Feels like a hot rusty nail going through your sneaker when you are attempting to stamp out a fire.

People always forget how hard the short side is. Not only are you battling problems, well defined here, involving the locating and keeping of a short. You are also fighting the whole promotional machine that needs to see some stocks higher just to keep things cooking.

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Message Boards. The whole business-to-consumer sector is in the doldrums in part because everybody now knows that it was a really crummy Christmas for the Net. We have watched Amazon go down 40 points since the Bezos Man of the Year title.

Quite frankly, this decline is bad for business, Wall Street's business. You can't have the bellwether down every day. So you have to expect that the Street will get behind this concept story whenever it is weak.

Am I being too cynical here? I don't think so, although this is turning into quite a cynical day for me. I have always held that if Amazon executes, it can still win. I don't think it can. The analysts do.

So why not beat the drum? Sure doesn't hurt anybody -- except the short-sellers. And can you think of a better group to bash?

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