Publish date:

The Trader Scratches His Head

Some days are just baffling. Monday was one of them.

We couldn't get our arms around the trading action today. We couldn't read it. We couldn't make sense of it. That disturbs us. Maybe it was the severe reaction to the lack of


(MSFT) - Get Report

news. Or perhaps it was that oil didn't come down enough. Or that all of that money that was supposed to come in didn't do anything.

Anyway, we left bewildered. I found myself thinking, "what would I possibly say if someone stuck a mike in my face and asked me what I thought?" If ever there were a day to pass on that, it would be today.

So many people told me in the last few days that the big institutions will come in and buy that I guess I felt like I should have seen more of it today. Why not come in and buy the


(VRSN) - Get Report

after it was upgraded? Why not make a bet that Microsoft won't go much lower even if it loses given how strong personal computers are?

If one stock could encapsulate our frustration it would have to be



. This morning when the stock didn't get hit on the news that


TheStreet Recommends


was allied with


(IBM) - Get Report

on a giant hosting agreement that could impact Exodus, we sold a little. We ended up buying it right back when it was clear that the market didn't mind.

Three hours later the stock was down six, off the Qwest news, no less, and we felt like real dolts.

It was just that kind of day. Everything felt like it was slow motion. Somehow we expected more.

Not every day can be gettable. This one sure wasn't.

Random musings:

At last some traction on the

taking it off the table pieces. Many of you wrote in to say that you felt great taking some off and stowing it away. Some of you said you even felt you could trade and invest better without that big margin debt or with some cash on the sidelines.

To which I say, Amen.

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