5 Things that Make Cramer Go ‘Hmm’
There's a lot of worry in the market, there always is. But should you shift your strategy because of it?
"We have a ton of things to fret over," admitted Jim Cramer on Monday's broadcast. There's the fiscal cliff, easy Fed policy, weaker than expected retail, the fiscal health of Europe, China growth and the decline in Apple.
But just how serious are these catalysts? Following are Jim Cramer's insights.
Going over the fiscal cliff appears to be a foregone conclusion.
"In the last few weeks it has become apparent to me that Democrats don't really want to negotiate or they would be offering some spending cuts to match the recent offer of the Speaker of the House to vote for some tax increases," said Cramer.
However, that doesn 't mean there won't be a deal – it's just there probably won't be one in time for end of year. Read More: Boehner Plan Doesn't Go Far Enough: White House
"It will only take two paychecks for the people of this country to be horrified how high their taxes have become," speculated Cramer.
And that, he said, will force compromise. Lawmakers won't risk the wrath of voters.
Two paychecks takes us to early February - "I am calling this the Superbowl agreement. "
Cramer thinks the market largely shares his opinion – so he's expecting nothing more than a small hit – no more than 5% - as the year draws to an end.
Easy Fed Policy
Another worry in the market involves the Fed's extremely aggressive policies – with the Fed committed to stimulus until the employment rate is much lower.
"I can't believe people are actually worried about this," said Cramer
If there's a real issue for investors, Cramer thinks it's that the economy can't generate jobs and not that Fed policies may result in inflation.
2012 has been a tough year for retail and the market is rightfully worried. Fortunately Cramer thinks 2013 will be a little better.
"I think that the conclusion of the housing crisis is upon us which means there will be more money going to fixing up homes in 2013 than have been in 2012."
"Not that long ago the Street was writing off Europe as yesterday's news," said Cramer. It was easily the market's biggest worry.
But the tables have turned.
As it turned out, Europe made hard decisions and wrestled a potential market monster to the ground.
Although the outlook is now for slow growth, Cramer said "tons of companies can go well in a low growth environment."
Conventional wisdom had suggested that China's growth trajectory had become a problem.
"But in the last few weeks it has become clear that China's economy has bottomed as the policy makers realized they were way too focused on beating inflation. Now the market's become the best performer in the world," Cramer said.
The market has become micro-fussed on Apple's deep decline and whether it's a leading indicator.
"I welcome the shake-out," said Cramer. "Apple had become too hot, it became the only stock that people talked about, a sure sign that it's too overheated."
"To me, as painful as it might be, it's a cathartic move," he added, and one that's much more about booking profits rather than a vote of no confidence in the company's prospects.
What's the bottom line?
The worries in the market are understandable – but they're not worrisome.
"There's a difference between being a paralyzed versus being a skeptic observer," said Cramer.
And to take a line out of Warren Buffett's playbook, it's often a good idea to be greedy when others are fearful.
"The market is overly worried and now I think it's time to be opportunistic," Cramer concluded.
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