Watch the Secondaries

Recent offerings haven't fared well, indicating stocks aren't in strong hands.
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Remember my

checklist of things to watch, which included being careful to monitor the secondaries to see how they held? Today, many of the deals that were priced recently fell flat on their faces. That is worrisome.

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Oddly, they had been hanging in there until the last hour or two when they suddenly gave up the ghost. We don't want to see this because it tells you stocks are not in strong hands.

Do we panic then and start selling everything? No, that wouldn't make any sense. Just be aware that one of the alarms that triggers true worry -- as opposed to the standard, boilerplate worry from the talking heads on TV -- went off about an hour ago.

We don't want to see many more alarms because of the

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

problem articulated earlier.

Random musings

: Two curious follow-ups and a pop quiz. I sold some

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

but it keeps running even though the

Justice Department

is denying a breakthrough. Could that be an Office 2000 thing? And

Merrill Lynch

bulled Xilinx right after I said I would do a paper trade on it, to no avail. I would have thought Microsoft would be down and Xilinx would be up! ... Not to be too "in your face" to my buddy

Padinha

, whom I like very much, but I am back in buying the long bond ... Fill in the missing letter: "The creator of Linu_ is retiring." If you wrote an X, you have had too much of this market.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Microsoft and the long bond. 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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.