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If tech is cheap, at least on a forward earnings basis, you want to own call options to capture the move when the market returns to its giddy senses. You can go buy calls out a couple of months and watch as tech gets cheaper and cheaper as rates go higher and the endless fretting over the strength or weakness of the economy beleaguers all who are involved in the market.
Or you can buy long-dated calls. I've got five of them for you to look at. They are the quintessential long-dated call options and they may make a ton of sense to do as a package. Of course, if I were a broker, I would be packaging this thing and sticking in some vigorish for the good guys but I will spare you that charge.
First, you would be buying a basket of equities that at one time traded north of $600 billion. Now it trades at about one-twelfth of that. Nice come-down.
Second, you would be getting these stocks down substantially from where they traded just a few months ago. They all are down as part of a series of things:
- The pricking of the speculative end-of-the-year bubble.
Higher interest rates, which impede speculation.
The fraud at Nortel, which is believed will blow over, but man, is it a nuclear cloud over the group.
The failure of JDS Uniphase to "blow away" the numbers.
The taint of the cocky Scott McNealy, even though he has worked wonders with Sun Microsystems' balance sheet.
Miss after miss by Brocade even though, as of today, it is taking share and getting its act together.
The fraud at Lucent, which is now behind it.
Is this a field bet? Yes. I have no idea which one or two of these five stocks is going to go up enough to pay for all the rest and then some. I also have no idea which of these is not going to make it, but I have to tell you these are some companies with terrific balance sheets. I own JDS Uniphase and Nortel, and I can't own any more tech without running the risk of being undiversified -- and I preach diversification for my portfolio
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But I think this basket is a fabulous idea for those who think that the tech sector has gotten too cheap. Five ways to win.
And stocks stop at zero on the downside.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long JDS Uniphase and Nortel.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made.
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