Jim Cramer: A Confounding Market

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:23 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Oct. 2. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.

NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- This has become a "you must be kidding me" market. Usually I am glued to the close as we prepare "Mad Money" each night. I never like to feel "away" from what's going on, because it is possible that I'll have to rip up the top of the show if things get wild. You can't afford to have a show that doesn't address a big move.

But Tuesday I did the show from outside the NYSE instead of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and I was without wireless so I couldn't follow things -- so I was stung by the last-minute close. I had been working my Washington channels -- which, I admit, are meager vs. others -- and could only come up with negatives. In other words, nothing was expected to happen in Washington in the next 48 hours. So I was thinking that this market should stay down at the close, be subdued, without any new information.

Nope. It ran.

I wanted to scream at the market, "What do you know that the rest of us don't?"

But now we see the answer: nothing. Nothing at all.

I continue to think that there are risks to the numbers that comes from the vast confusion that a shutdown engenders. Businesspeople plan. They like to make moves based on some stability.

But Washington is providing a fabulous excuse to do nothing.

I was gratified when Duncan Niederauer, the CEO of NYSE Euronext ( NYX), said he didn't think the initial public offering process would be impeded because the queue is huge. But then I figured, who knows? Maybe in order to prove a political point, someone from the executive branch will say the Securities and Exchange Commission should only work on enforcement, and not corporate finance. Who's to say "no" to that?

With the lack of any appropriations bills for years, we really have no idea who has money and who doesn't. It seems like the shutdown is designed only to aggravate the highest possible of people who can aggravated.

In real life, though, the ripple effect of 2 million federal employees being taken out of the spending loop isn't all that different from a hurricane taking out a part of the country -- except that we don't have insurance funds to rebuild and boost the economy. This isn't Hurricane Sandy. It's Hurricane Cruz, and there's no real making up for lost business.

That's really the issue here. The people in Washington won't react until there is so much pain that they fear for their jobs. When you have a market that rallies, like what happened yesterday, they feel as if they aren't hurting anyone. If you have a market that goes down, then you have businesspeople who visit and talk about havoc, and you have constituents who are struggling to put dinner on the plates. Maybe then they would start dealing?

One thing is for certain: The buyers at the bell? They have left the building. They are being replaced by sellers who had their chance yesterday and didn't take it, and now they are thrilled to get the prices from the low of yesterday's trading.

At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the securities mentioned.

If you liked this article you might like

NYSE Wants to Delay Late-Afternoon News to Avoid Confusion, Market Disruption

NYSE Wants to Delay Late-Afternoon News to Avoid Confusion, Market Disruption

Stay Away from Equity Brokers

Stay Away from Equity Brokers

How to Get In on the IPO Frenzy

How to Get In on the IPO Frenzy

Blackstone Decides to Extend Stay After La Quinta IPO

Blackstone Decides to Extend Stay After La Quinta IPO

Don't Expect High Frequency Trading to End Anytime Soon

Don't Expect High Frequency Trading to End Anytime Soon