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The Stay-Away Blues

I like to buy when it's ugly, but it's hard to know when this will let up.
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Here it comes, right on schedule. The dreaded right uppercut to deck the NDX at the bell. So typical as the "make me look smart" seller comes in and makes himself look smart.

This barrage is so strong that most people will think these stocks can't survive. Nonsense. But it is ugly and when it is ugly, I like to buy.

What makes me so confident? First, everything is going down in lockstep. When


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goes down,

Applied Materials

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goes down and so do

Sun Microsystems

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and all the other overweighted



I can only act on the fundamentals. People who tried to call the bottom all day in the


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and the Intels are spewing them up now, like egg salad left unrefrigerated for a couple of days. Whew, dangerous stuff.

Of course, the problem is that the seller will have to make the worst possible moment the end of the day. So, I want to keep some money ready for Intel at 128 and Soft at 158, just in case the seller doesn't finish today -- always a worry.

Good day to stay away.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At the time of publication the fund was long Applied Materials, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, though 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 by sending an email to