Jim Cramer believes that ultimately fundamentals drive stocks. However, in the near-term other catalysts often come into play, too.
With a rotation underway in the market that doesn't always make fundamental sense, trend lines generated by technical analysis have emerged as an important force behind advances and declines, too.
Therefore Jim Cramer always likes to consult the technicals before drawing any conclusion.
And although Amazon bounced on Tuesday, Cramer would suggest that Amazon bulls temper their enthusiasm.
According top analyst Ed Ponsi, managing director of Barchetta Capital Mangement, trend lines in the Amazon charts are horrible. "For Amazon, pretty much everything that could go wrong is going wrong," Cramer said of the analysis.
Looking at the daily chart, Ponsi noted that Amazon has made both a lower high and a lower low; key ingredients in a downtrend.
Also, last week, Amazon fell through its 200-day moving average, a long-term measure of the stock's trajectory and a signal that telegraphs 'sell' to many chart-followers.
In addition, Ponsi says that Amazon's 50-day moving average, a shorter-term measure of its trajectory, now seems poised to cross below the 200-day moving average on heavy volume. That's suggests downside momentum is building; another ominous sign.
All told, Ponsi interprets these patterns to mean that the decline in Amazon is far from over. The patterns suggest to him that Amazon's decline could continue down to its next major floor of support, which is $280.
That's a substantial pullback.
Cramer thinks the analysis makes sense. Amazon is a company that trades at a significant premium and though it shows tremendous growth it doesn't generate significant profits. These are the kinds of stocks that pros are selling as part of a broad rotation underway in the market. In other words pros are rotating out of Amazon and technical analysis suggests the rotation isn't done.
Conversely, patterns in IBM appear very bullish.
Ponsi's analysis shows that IBM's 50-day moving average is crossing above the 200-day; that's a bullish pattern.
Also, IBM is very close to breaking through its major ceiling of resistance at $195, which has been putting a cap on the stock since September. If IBM breaks out above $195, Ponsi believes the stock could trade up to last year's high of $215. And any move past $215 would take IBM to new all-time highs, which means there's no further resistance beyond that level.
Cramer thinks the IBM analysis makes sense, too. Pros are rotating into value stocks such as IBM that could generate significantly higher profits if the economy improves. The technical analysis seems to confirm the thesis.
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If you're a sophisticated investor, Ponsi thinks the timing may be right for a pairs trade; that is establishing a long position in a stock you think will go higher and then shorting it against a stock you think will go lower. From the analysis outlined above, Ed Ponsi would suggest long IBM against short Amazon.
"Based on my remembrances of rotations past, I think Ponsi's probably right about IBM," said Cramer, "Amazon, however, has nine lives and I'm not sure we've seen them all just yet."
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