Trans-Atlantic Arbitrage: Playing the Cards You're Dealt

Look, I get up to make trades at 5 a.m. That gives me a legitimate edge, and I'm not apologizing.
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situation perturbs me greatly. There aren't many legitimate edges left in this game. Honest, legitimate edges, imperfections that work for you that are ethical and aboveboard. But one of them is that if you get in early and trade overseas, you can make money, by simply doing homework.

For about a half-dozen years I have been coming in between 4 and 5 a.m. I do that because I trade overseas. I trade names that are American depositary receipt names.



. Nokia.

SmithKline Beecham

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. The markets between the U.S. and Europe are very imperfect. People don't care as much about contracts over there. They care more about currency. Some analysts get very excited about news here that is viewed as ho-hum there. These are patterns that have worked for me. I am trying to share them with you.

(Why am I doing this? Because I want you to be a member of

, which I view as more than just a digital newspaper. I regard you as a club member of mine. If you are already a club member, I want you to be satisfied. If we were strictly a ho-hum online digital newspaper, we couldn't charge. We are much more than that, and that's what I believe in with my heart and soul.)

It is entirely possible to make good money just trying to game what we will like more than they do. I do this every day. It is my living. In this particular case a contract had been widely reported over there. It hadn't been mentioned over here. When analysts talked about it over here it helped the stock to go higher. I made a profit.

My mail was immediately inundated with people accusing me of using an unfair advantage in our markets because I have people in Europe who read me the papers. This is ridiculous. I will use every legitimate edge I can. I will not use any other.

If you come in at 5 and you trade these markets every day of your life and you make money, I say terrific. There is no more to it than that.

Random musings

: PC stocks getting stronger off sales from


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Best Buy

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? The group sure acts well. ... Battling



feels OK, but the analyst chatter is more ho-hum than in previous quarters, which hurts.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long Nokia and Yahoo!. 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