The programs are forcing the market down at the same time that the fundamentals are squeezing it up. So you end up with this mish-mosh where, when there is good news, a stock can transcend the sell programs, but when there isn't, a stock gets hit.
For us, that means cautious waiting and a bet that the programs will complete themselves today and the market will head higher.
I hate to dwell on the programs because they are a little like the weather. I don't know when it is going to stop raining stocks, but I want to take advantage of any dislocations the programs cause.
We are watching the bank and drug indices to measure program activity as many of these stocks are big
names, and as usual we are watching
, which seems to be telling us, with its down-1 1/2 price action, that we are not of the program woods yet.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long General Electric. 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