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Two Weddings and a Funeral

It looks like today's market will be reacting positively to a pair of bids and a cratered offering.
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Republic Bank's (RNB) gone. Texaco (TX) - Get Ternium S.A. American Depositary Shares (each representing ten shares USD1.00 par value) Report may be gone. Just like that. Just when I thought the bank and oil and gas stocks might be stalling.

The role of bids in this market can never be underestimated. Take this Republic deal. It comes right on the heels of a statement by

Bank One

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that the acquisition game is over. It may be over for Bank One, but maybe it is just beginning for international banks. And how many people told me that Texaco couldn't get a bid because of all of these restrictive refining deals?


Bids energize a market. They remind the bears, who often like to lie on breaking sectors, that you can't push down stocks with impunity. They remind stock investors why we pay prices for stocks at all: because they are businesses valued by others in business. And, in the case of Republic, they take out supply -- supply that gets expanded every day by the IPO market -- so the reduction is much needed.

Of course, occasionally a bid comes along that de-energizes the market. The

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certainly did that. Today could be the first day I can recall where a bid that fell through might drive a stock up!

So, if you thought Friday's action left the debate unclear, two bids and a cratered offering make being bearish a tough row to hoe this morning.

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