One Sector Has to Step Forward

Tickers in this article: MMM

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Down opening. Could be interesting. It's kind of what the bulls want to see: a down opening with quiet research.

I keep thinking of that hold-to-sell downgrade of 3M (MMM) by Morgan Stanley. The report revealed that the industrial levitation could be a house of cards. This was made all the more important because the purchasing managers index from China was strong, and the Baltic Freight Index has been good, and the Macau take excellent. These are our real barometers.

3M had been an Asia-recovery story until Monday, when the company was revealed as a multiple-expansion story -- one for which the multiple had expanded too much, too fast.

But today is a new day, and I still think the money-management complex is just waiting to get to an entry point where it can feel comfortable picking up some stocks for year-end.

What will they go for?

More financials?

Some retailers because they have been so beaten up?

A circle-back to the industrials after a few days' time?

The biotechs coming off the best month in years?

The oils after a hefty run down that now seems to have found its footing?

The Internet high-multiple techs that had been so strong but wilted yesterday?

A run back into the housing-related names?

One of these groups has to step forward. I think we will know by the first couple of hours which one it will be. I am betting it'll be another move in the financials and a better tone to the housing stocks.

If we don't see some leadership surfacing, though, we can bet that this one's going down until we get big data that can turn it, because there aren't enough big earnings reports out there to make a difference.

Right now, it is all based on managers trying to play catch-up vs. managers who need it down.

I think the winner of that tug-of-war will determine the next 5% move in this market.

Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:32 a.m. EST on Real Money on Dec. 3.