We're Not in Oz Anymore

There's no place like Wall Street, but it sure isn't easy to make money out there today.
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There ought to be a clause in the advertising agreements allowing CNBC to pull the more egregious of the "even morons can make millions online" ads in tapes like this. Is there anything worse than hearing Mrs. Soprano talk about how much money she has made on CMGI (CMGI) on a day like today? And don't you wish the (MNNAX) - Get Report Munder NetNetNetNet fund would take some of those ad dollars, bail us out and buy some DOT calls?

Yeah, when things look bad and, intraday, we are getting trading halts in stocks we know and love, the last thing we want to hear about is how easy the money is on Wall Street. It reminds us about Kansas -- not the Dave kind -- just when we were getting used to how we spend our day in the merry old land of Oz.

I am now convinced that with the limited pool of capital being put to work in these markets, you must go slow on buying dislocated merchandise down UNTIL you see a reversal in the

CYC

(the

Morgan Stanley

cyclical index.) Not only is Kansas bleak, it is also zero sum. You simply can't have the big cyclicals continue to ramp and expect that

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

can turn around.

(As far as the Pfizer statement, this is business as usual for these guys, meaning they always guide down after the first quarter. Unfortunately, it always goes down when they do it, so I don't know what that is worth today. Could be worth something a day or two from now, though, when things calm down. Who knows, but I am buying 'cause you gotta start somewhere, and down 14, oops, 15, oops 16, oops 16 1/2, is good enough for me.)

Yes, it is terrific that the advance/decline is better, but we sure as heck could make more money, it seems, when the advance/decline stunk! Go figure.

For me, nothing to do yet, 'cept PFE. Prices are too close to earlier buys.

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

letters@thestreet.com.