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Cramer: Was Summers that horrendous for stocks?

Monday, 16 Sep 2013 | 6:00 PM ET
Market viewed Summers as one-man wrecking crew: Cramer
Monday, 16 Sep 2013 | 6:00 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer discusses how the withdrawal of Larry Summers for Fed chair consideration impacted the markets today.

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

Not so fast. There was another catalyst behind Monday's rally – something unexpected and not widely talked about.

You'd think gains were generated by a classic relief rally after Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration as new Fed chief.

It would stand to reason that investors breathed a collective sigh of relief and bid stocks higher. After all Summers is viewed as hawkish and a vocal critic of Ben Bernanke.

"The Street presumed that Summers would undo anything and everything Bernanke has done," Cramer said. And now that he's no longer in the mix, the potential of undoing QE seems much less likely – hence the rally right?

Not entirely. Cramer's done some digging and discovered a second, equally important catalyst.

"Going into this weekend, many hedge funds had either a severe underweighting in the housing related stocks or they were shorting them," Cramer said.

"These managers envisioned a one-two punch, with the immediate catalyst coming from the imminent Fed meeting and then the follow up from Summers."

Lawrence Summers
Getty Images
Lawrence Summers

Hedgies felt if the Fed signals taper at the conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday, stocks should sell off and if the Fed doesn't signal taper, then interest rates should spike and that too should generate a sell-off.

Of course, all that could still happen, but the second punch – Larry Summers - is now off the table.

"This guy was like a belt and suspenders for the shorts. If the Fed didn't gaffe then Summers surely would they reasoned," said Cramer. "What an ideal short situation."

However, now that Summers is out of the equation, being short isn't quite as prudent and hedge fund covered some of their short positions on Monday.

"That's why home stocks including Toll Brothers and Lennar gained as well as related plays including Whirlpool, Sherwin-Williams, Lumber Liquidators and Masco," Cramer explained.

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In other words Summers altered the short's thesis and therefore generated a short squeeze.

"Rightly or wrongly, Summers was viewed as a one-man wrecking crew for the stock market. With his departure from the scene, the bears lost their best friend." Cramer said.

However Monday's rally was also due to hedge funds which had positioned themselves for a market fall from the one-two punch. Stocks could still take a hit later in the week, but the follow- up punch definitely isn't coming.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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