Dow 9500, anyone?

This day sure put an end to Dow 10,000 talk. That

Robbie Stephens

cautionary call on


(DELL) - Get Report

might have done this market in for the day. Just when tech looked like it might be able to grab a foothold, the Dell call pried the fingers from the ledge. Couple hundred points below?

At this point, I am sticking in bids for my fave blue-chips, companies that are down 3 and 4 points on pretty good volume. Many of these are the same companies I had sold earlier during the ill-fated run to Dow 10,000.



(MRK) - Get Report

. Actually, I am not taking it. I am bidding. I just got punched at 83 with a bid that I stuck down there when the stock was at 84. I didn't think that Merck would get that far down. I can handle that price as I rebuild the stock ahead of some good painkiller news.

My edge? None. I like Merck. (Good article about the pros of Merck in this morning's

Investor's Business Daily

.) I got down to tag ends in Merck and am now anxious to rebuild it into what I think is a slowing economy.

Again, I am not hearing lots of merchandise for sale. In fact, I am not getting any calls from brokers trying to move pieces. But I am seeing lots of selling spilling over from the futures pits. That's probably who hit me in Merck.

We are now getting a true pasting as the 2 p.m. sell hour delivered its pounding. Seems like the ugliest day in many, many months, doesn't it? I guess there are some things you can bank on in this business, and one of them is you have to wait until the 2 p.m. sell hour to run its course -- or not, as happens to be the case today.

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