What the heck is the matter with retail? Hardly a day goes by in this selloff in which retail doesn't get killed. Now it has spilled over to the autos, also a consumer spending-oriented group.
I don't get it. The companies themselves are quite bullish. Everybody knows the economy is strong. This selloff in retail has all the earmarks of some mutual fund going to underweight on a group that it liked.
So often, when we see a stock or two sell off in a group, we know that's driven by the fundamentals of the companies. Other times, though, like now, we see every stock in the group sell off. That usually means that some mutual fund that had been bullish on the consumer has gotten bearish. Maybe someone thinks that consumer spending will be crimped by higher gasoline prices. Maybe someone is saying that retail will be destroyed by online. Could Kosovo be causing it? Retail got whacked pre-Gulf War.
Whatever, it is this kind of group rotation that makes this market so treacherous. You can sit there and call
until you are blue in the face and all you are going to hear is the same thing you just heard. Same with
No matter: When one of these mutual funds switches horses, we get trampled. That's what is happening now.
: Way, way too much put-buying in tech. Tech doesn't go down big with that kind of activity. This is a classic example of the worry wall being built right in front of us.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At the time of publication the fund was long Wal-Mart, though 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 by sending an email to