That angst you feel as you look at prices is the nerve-racking side effect of this bond market. Bonds give you the chills. They take your confidence away. They make you ask, "What's wrong?" As in, what's wrong with the Net? Or, what's wrong with the drugs? Or, what's wrong with the high-growth techs?
Bonds are like chronic fatigue syndrome to stocks. Their effect is very hard to diagnose, yet it weighs on everything. It causes your stocks to feel sluggish, tired, like they need a nap. Our doctors, the stock gurus, can't really get a handle on it -- it's out of their ken.
But anybody who trades the bonds knows the illness and how hard it is to beat.
For me, I view it as an opportunity, because I believe the syndrome will be short-lived. But you must understand that a bet on the bonds here, if wrong, will make this chronic fatigue flare up to where even regular doctors might see that the patient is more than just a hypochondriac.
What's immune to CFDS? Not much, maybe the Net, maybe the cyclicals. But few stocks can escape the weariness these bonds are causing.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. 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