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Cramer: Markets won't stabilize until rates stop rising

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 | 10:21 AM ET
Cramer: For markets to stabilize, rates must stop rising
Monday, 19 Aug 2013 | 9:01 AM ET
After three consecutive down days for the market, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday that in order for stocks to stop the slide, the rate on the 10-year Treasury needs to stop rising.

The market has reached a key point after posting several days of losses, CNBC's Jim Cramer said, and the catalyst that will stop the slide is what market pros are watching: the interest rate on 10-year Treasurys.

"We're in a very key, fulcrum moment here," he said of last week's market pullback. "The industrials are hanging by a thread, the real estate investment trusts [were] terrible. The only group that was good, the gold stocks."


Cramer explained that the conflicting signals of pessimism from retailers and a rising rate on 10-year Treasurys have worried investors. Although a number of factors could be responsible for the rising interest rate on Treasurys, Cramer hasn't seen the underlying economic strength from individual companies to support this kind of move.

(Read more: Bond exodus accelerates as yields creep nearer 3%)

"We need interest rates to stop going up if we're going to stabilize," he said on "Squawk on the Street" Monday. "If they keep going up, we're not going to stabilize … I just don't see a lot of strength. I think that the rates have gotten away from the fundamentals."

For instance, with the social and political unrest in Cairo, Cramer said that in normal times this would result in a flight to quality, causing investors to move into Treasurys. "There are so many sellers of Treasurys they are overwhelming the flight-to-quality trade."

(Related: Traders beware: Six weeks of intense volatility ahead)

For individual companies, Cramer pointed out that many are back at lows during the last "interest rate scare" earlier this year, with some breaking lower, like several real estate investment trusts. REITs, he said, are going to be the big losers if rates continue to rise.

"It's a different kind of market," he said. "We are the most oversold of the year ... except for the June decline, we're neck and neck with that. … The rolling-over theme is very big and the only stocks that bucked that Thursday and Friday were housing stocks, how do we explain that? Down 30 percent are they finally done?"

If rates stabilize, Cramer said "fall could be good for the home builders."

(More Cramer: 'Giant reset' looming for markets)

—By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter @ToscanoPaul and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street."

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