CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday he believes the stock market low of mid-June will hold as the bottom in this terrible year of selling. However, he acknowledged that it won’t be easy and that Wall Street bulls do face a host of forces that appear to be working against them.
“Sometimes I just want to tell these doubters, as I constantly tell strangers, don’t give up the ship,” Cramer said on “Mad Money,” hosting the show from Seattle.
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Cramer said he certainly understands why the bears look to be in the driver’s seat despite Monday’s rally that built on last week’s rally. In fact, the S&P 500‘s advance last week broke a three-week losing streak.
Could we be getting a bear market rally after weeks of selling? Of course, Cramer said. It’s September after all, the worst month of the year for stocks. And after a terrible August, which traditionally is a pretty good month for stocks, he said the selling could return. But he doesn’t think the market will break below the mid-June low.
Cramer said, inflation — no matter what Tuesday’s consumer price index for August actually says — is a problem. Just how big of a problem, that’s the big question as investors ponder whether the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates 75 basis points or 50 basis points later this month. The former would be a third straight hike of that magnitude. That’s what the market is betting on nearly unanimously.
Cramer also gives a nod to the bear arguments that the government’s environmental agenda is not very market friendly, that more layoffs are coming in corporate America and tech is still way overvalued.
While all true, Cramer is focused on inflation getting better not worse, because commodity prices peaked long ago, but he also favors a bigger 75 basis point rate rise to help cap wage inflation.
Outside of all that, Cramer sees a truly positive market force developing: the Ukrainians driving the Russians out. If that were to happen, he said oil, gasoline and natural gas prices — all elevated due to disruptions from the war — would plummet. That would give a tremendous tailwind to the market.
“Obviously, this whole war has been a horrifying humanitarian disaster, but if Ukraine can win, that’s huge for the stock market,” Cramer said. “Same for food prices. And the euro could finally make a comeback, allowing our international companies to make more money overseas.”
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