Getting a little discouraging, isn't it? I know a ton of stocks that I follow have what my wife used to call "no pin action," from her 180 bowling days. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. You take some AOL (AOL) at 135 and it is at 130 by the time you're back from your last meeting or appointment. You think Yahoo!'s (YHOO) going to run to the 160s when you reach for that 157 stock, and instead you find yourself at 153.
It's just like bowling. You lay down what looks to be the perfect strike and instead you are stuck with that split, the one with the two pins on either side, and you wind up with a miserable 8. Not even a Bud longneck between rounds can make you feel better.
You are not alone. Right now, things just aren't working. My partner,
, and I hear from a ton of people each day and we all feel equally frustrated.
Some are playing less. Some are meeting with more managements. Still others are going on vacation.
And then there is another group: the pressers. They think that by rolling the ball more often, the pin action is going to change in their favor. They think that accelerated, if not frenzied, trading may be the answer, may be the way to get a few spares and strikes.
Forget about it. Go take a vacation. It's the tape, stupid. The action is terrible right now. There are too many deals, the Street is too long, and people are all playing skittishly.
I know we are. We have made a ton of money with
this past year, buying every dip, loving the fact that this management gets it, and thinking that the aerospace cycle is bottoming.
We figure, with the upcoming split, UTX maybe ramps to 75. For three days now, we rolled nothing but gutters. Another day of this and I am going to have to put in bumpers at my shop!
Is it my fault? Do I suddenly, after 18 years of trading successfully, not know what I am doing? Nah, it is just one of those periods, whether because of the bonds or because of supply, that things aren't breaking as they are supposed to.
So, do less. Take some time off. Don't drive yourself crazy. The pin action can change on a dime. And then you can enjoy the joy of strikes and spares again.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long United Technologies, AOL 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