Resilient stocks a sign of normalcy

The real story today is that, despite the turmoil in Egypt, stock and oil prices are merely flat.

By Jim Cramer Jan 31, 2011 10:09AM

jim cramerA major emerging nation with more than 80 million people, a country that has 6% growth and huge infrastructure possibilities as well as a vital waterway and important oil properties, is aflame. The headlines are damning. The people are in open revolt. Port of Alexandria is closed. Nonessential personnel, blah, blah, blah. Obviously chaos and confusion reign.


And stocks are merely flat? Sure, they were down Friday, but after the run we have had, isn't that reasonable anyway just on the crummy quarter out of Ford (F) on top of the inflation- and commodity-troubled Procter & Gamble (PG)? Both the soft goods and the autos had been doing so, so well.


Of course, a cursory read of the media, a quick look at the Web and the TV, tells you that things are down and down big. But we all know that's not true. In fact, I would expect that on a normal day, with inflation in Europe running higher than expected -- 2.4% instead of 2.3%, but "higher than expected" has a real solid, negative ring to it -- that stocks should be down.


However, things are not looking heavy at all.

I always marvel about what the real story is, and today the real story is that the S&P 500 ($INX) isn't minus 12 and lower, that some major stocks are trading higher, that oil is flat, that gold is down big. These are, again, signs that things are normal.




That's what is so eerie about this. Things are normal.


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Of course, that can change. I would think that when people come in and see normal, they are going to want to short stocks. As I wrote last night, there was ample negativity among my canvas of hedge and mutual fund friends. Given my long tenure, I believe the canvas is more than anecdotal.


So I would propose that the news report that marvels about the strength in the market -- including rallies in Dubai and Israel -- is the news story. It's not dog bites man; it's man bites dog.


Unlike in Egypt, it is not a suppressed story. And it can be told as an absurdly positive story. To simply say the markets are up or down slightly is more than just irony.


It is news.


At the time of publication, Cramer did not own positions in the stocks mentioned.


Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO.


Follow Cramer's trades for his Charitable Trust.


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