I know, you are thinking, heck, why not buy something that's not up right now?

Wrong!

On days like this, I like to buy winners that are off a bit from their highs, rather than losers that ain't going anywhere.

Stuff that I have been buying into the weakness these past few days, I am picking at if my basis is no good. Let's take the

National Gift

example. It looks like a lot of the retailer inventory is being worked off as the stocks are higher. I am picking at retail that I am underwater on.

But I would much rather buy

AOL

(AOL)

at 125 than

3Com

(COMS)

at 24 or

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

at 55, to mention a winner and two losers.

Love the financials and the Net. And they are still well off their highs. You have to believe that

Morgan Dean Witter's

(MWD)

number keeps this group strong for the next 24 hours. By the way, didn't you love the way the papers played the

Chase

(CMB)

thing? The

Journal

stuck by its "Chase-to-do-a-stupid-merger" rap, as it said earlier in the week, even though this change at the top was meant to quell merger specs. The

Times

waffled a bit, but the paper of record,

The American Banker

, said what I heard, which was CMB ain't buying anybody big and bad. Period. (Yeah, I am long Chase. Yes, I don't think they are a bunch of morons waiting to hurt shareholders.)

And, yes, I bought the

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

. Darling Intel. I figure we are out of the woods on a

Compaq

(CPQ)

preannouncement by now, so I'm getting involved.

Should you get involved? Yes, if you like it and believe the bull case. No, if you don't and think that personal computers stink. To me, I am wondering if they "stunk" but won't stink as badly going forward. In the meantime, telco-tech continues to outperform, and I have already sung the praises for that group.

We still will have to get through the 2 p.m. sell hour -- that's when we tend to hear a little more bad news about the world -- and I am waiting to buy anything more until then.

Speaking of great questions, didn't you love when

Mark Haines

on

CNBC

"Squawk" this morning said that we are hearing the same thing about the Serb soldiers as we heard about the Republican Guard -- canny and invincible? I don't know about you, but I always regard such naysaying about the U.S. military and positives about the ENEMY as a slap at something our country does right: defend itself. Thanks, Mark, for saying what no one else did: Maybe we do know what we are doing.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long America Online, Chase Manhattan and Intel and short Texaco, 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

letters@thestreet.com.