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Why I Call Them the Red Hots

You can't get out in front of them even on a day like this.
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Darn Red Hots! They always send me into a tizzy of Manchurian Candidate-like paranoia on days like today. Here are the bonds getting clocked, the usual growth suspects getting nicked and the Red Hots shining. (Poll closes in three hours for the last two Red Hots to round out the index! Click here to


This pattern occurs constantly. It has ever since the 1990 revival in large-cap hypergrowth. These stocks just take off.

I waffle between thinking that the buying is mutual fund managers just propping them up and shorts desperately trying to bring them in. I used to short these stocks on days like today and then I would get my head handed to me as the buyers just kept coming back. That's why I speak of the paranoia.

In my world the persistent buying of these names seems just plain stupid on days like today. I can see why you would want to buy good merchandise when it is down. But to buy it when it is up 6 or 7 points up seems counterintuitive.

But my shorting career has cost me big money when I go after the Red Hots on days like today. That's why I grabbed some



. I have seen this movie a dozen times. It always ends happily for the Red Hots.

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I just wish I had a good explanation for it besides my paranoia that they are being manipulated.

Whatever; if it works, do it.

Random musings

: Who would ever think that a lack of Y2K worries would be a concern? That's the case right now when it comes to the


. We were banking on them not tightening because of Y2K paralysis. Doesn't look like we can

count on that anymore.

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