The Tech Empire's Not Striking Back Yet

Cramer can't find a reason to get excited about tech lately.
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The Tech Empire Strikes Back?

Yeah, you can already see the thesis being crafted.

Xylan

(XYLN)

gets a bid from

Alacatel

(ALA)

, so these Internet hardware jobbies are worth more than we thought. We put two and two together -- mainly the

Philips

(PHG) - Get Report

-

VLSI

(VLSI)

bid and the Alcatel-Xylan parry -- and we get a "foreigners to buy cheap U.S. tech" story that allows us into the drives and the also-ran chip makers.

Then we throw in a dollop of a

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

breakup, and we forget that these great American tech companies are filled with hidden gems that make them worth more than we ever thought. Couple that with the first good days for the

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

defense team -- courtesy of the recess, of course -- and we could put the Tech Empire back on track.

There is only one problem: None of these cuts to demand. Which means that if we have a rally, it will be used to rid portfolios of tech, not stock them up. We need demand to be restarted, whether it be because of Pentium III or Y2K or more consumer spending power. Who cares? Without it though, all we have done is craft a thesis, and while that is exciting, we then have to worry about some computer company opening its fat trap, the way

Micron Electronics

(MUEI)

did last night, and telling us that things stink again.

Which is why, in the menu of financials, consumers and tech and even the lowly worm cyclicals, I still can't get fired up for tech beyond a trade.

Random musings:

Japan just cuts your heart out every time, doesn't it? Count me among the nonbelievers until the whole country files Chapter 11 and gets a fresh start.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, his fund was long Microsoft, though positions 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 by sending a letter to TheStreet.com.