Whiplash Alert - TheStreet

Whiplash Alert

The action in Computer Associates yesterday shows the breakneck speed of stock-market reversals.
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How jittery is this market? Take Computer Associates (CA) - Get Report. After a full-day analyst meeting yesterday -- all upbeat -- management answered some questions about the current quarter with a typically guarded response. I say typical, because companies would be nuts to be more specific at this point in the quarter.

The stock got clocked 10% immediately.

This was ridiculous. Nothng happened. Nothing was meant by it. Nothing. No matter. Game over. People really freaked.

It is very hard to make money in this kind of environment. You had to short Computer Associates, cover Computer Associates and go long Computer Associates all in the space 20 minutes.

Man, I am a Houdini when it comes to this trading stuff, but I know I couldn't pull this one off. Markets like these have to be played very close to the vest with massive conviction. You can't be shaken out. You have to stand your course when others are losing their heads. Or you have to lose your head faster than everyone else and then get it back even faster!

Only my wife had the instincts to thrive in this kind of market.

Random musings:

Tsunami! That's the reaction to last night's

DSL poll. I have spent the last three hours sorting through your responses. First conclusion: If there is a more thoughtful, fantastic bunch of viewers/readers out there, I don't know it. Second, I am going to whip this stuff in a shape where we can all make money. Third, only at

TheStreet.com

, folks, only at

TheStreet.com

.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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.