GO
Loading...

Market riptides could drown a bull, says Cramer

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 | 6:00 PM ET
Rough seas ahead?
Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 | 6:00 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer discusses investment strategies if things turn sour in Syria, and how other current events like the debt ceiling are impacting the markets.

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

If you think it's safe to wade back in the water, Cramer says you should think again.

"I'd rather stay on shore right now," he said. "The coast is anything but clear."

That is, the Mad Money host does not think it's a good time to put new capital to work in the stock market. Largely the Mad Money host sees far too many riptides or unpredictable variables to feel good about buying.

First and foremost there's Syria. Although the US and Britain backed down from an immediate attack, both nations will only delay action until UN team reports back from Damascus, which may be as soon as Saturday by some reports.

Perhaps the tactic is intended to quell tempers until cooler heads prevail. Or perhaps it's simply a stalling tactic in an attempt to gain more public support for military action.

"It's simply impossible to know," said Cramer. Yet the course of action will impact stocks significantly.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

And Cramer believes there are other catalysts looming on the horizon that may not be as threatening at Syria but present the same degree of uncertainty, nonetheless – take for example the issue of the debt ceiling.

"We heard from Secretary of State Jack Lew speaking earlier this week on CNBC that there will be no negotiations on the debt ceiling," Cramer said. "But if that's the case then we will have a government shutdown, plain and simple because the Republicans won't tolerate that intransigence."

A shutdown could send markets into a tailspin. Of course, it could also play out like the Fiscal Cliff and simply be a lot of tempest in a pot of tea.

"The point is, I don't know how those negotiations will come out any more than I know if we will hit Damascus with missiles," Cramer said.

In addition, Cramer said Fed tapering could also roil markets.

"Next week we get an employment report that, judging from the weekly unemployment claims will be the best in ages. But before you jump up and down with joy, if you own stock that could be terrible news because it could verify all of the talk about how the Fed won' t help any more. I suspect a strong number sends the market south," Cramer said.

-----------------------------------------------------
Read More from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Stocks nearing an inflection point?
Amid pullback, Cramer's 12 stock watch list
Cramer: Sell these stocks on any bounce
-----------------------------------------------------

Beyond those catalysts Cramer added that there are single stock concerns such as earnings from Hain which would suggest the healthy eating trend is gaining momentum versus metrics from Fresh Market which said sales for new stores were incredibly weak.

There are even technical patterns in charts of the S&P 500 that are confusing at best.

"We've got cross currents galore and I just can't tell whether the bulls or the bears will be pulled out to sea by the riptide. I can make the case that skies are clearing and the market should trade up to new all-time highs and I can make a case that a nasty storm is brewing and we'll probably lose everything we have made this year," said Cramer

The point is, there's no way of knowing. Therefore, Cramer says play it safe.

"These big macro forces could toss around the stocks as if they were small ships caught in a hurricane. They could easily drown a bull. Just ride this one out in port," Cramer said.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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

  Price   Change %Change
HAIN
---

Contact Mad Money

  • Showtimes

    Monday - Friday 6p ET
  • Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Mad Money Features

  • Grab the latest CNBC gear from the NBCUniversal Store!

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Cramer formulates his investment advice. "Inside the Madness" is a column, which features e-mails and more with Cramer and his researcher Nicole Urken.

  • You’ve always wanted to hit the “Hallelujah!” button. Here’s your chance.