This column originally appeared on Jan. 27 at 11:37 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Jim Cramer and other writers even earlier in the trading day.
Hunt the weak, the slow, the old ... whatever it takes to survive. That's got to be how the short-sellers and bears feel at the moment. Don't try to take down the entire herd; it's simply too strong. Pick off the straggler trailing the pack.
I've had my eyes on American International Group (AIG - Get Report) since the start of 2017. It looked primed for a breakdown to kick off the year, but the stock held $65 and reversed higher. It moved similarly to names like Allstate (ALL - Get Report) and Progressive (PGR - Get Report) , but something has changed in the last few days.
ALL and PGR popped this week. They look strong. Leaders of the pack. Leaders of the property and casualty sector. But somewhere along the way AIG has fallen off the pack. Maybe there was a pretty flower along the tree line or a bee crossed its path. Or maybe it was the recent deal with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) where AIG spent big bucks to transfer away a big amount of risk. BRK isn't exactly known for entering bad deals for itself, which might raise greater concern for AIG's move.
The stock is testing support of $65. This goes back to December and losing $65 should put us on a quick path to $63, possibly even $61. While $65 held to start the year, the breakdown then didn't appear potentially as bad as it does here. The reason: The 50-day simple moving average (SMA) coincides with the current price, so a close under $65 also puts the stock under the 50-day SMA. We've already seen every secondary technical indicator break bearish, and in some cases, very bearish. This one only feels like a matter of when, not if, the bears pick off the laggard in the group.
If I owned AIG, I would be aggressively hedging my position at $65, moving it to neutral. If I were on a bear out on the prowl, this would be my first target on a close under $65.