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Cramer: 8 reasons the market isn’t worse

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

Although stocks closed lower on Monday, the declines were modest with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 falling a fraction of a percent.

Many investors, including Jim Cramer, found the relative strength somewhat curious, given the widespread geopolitical unrest.

Israeli jets, tanks and artillery pounded Gaza again as the death toll from a two-week conflict topped 500. Also, fighting flared in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk as investigators began to inspect the bodies of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash. In addition, the United States and the European Union announced further economic sanctions against Russia.

"You'd think the market would get absolutely crushed," noted Cramer. But it didn't. Following are Cramer's reasons why:

Jim Cramer on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer on Mad Money.

1. Russia'S not that bad

Although there's tough talk out of the White House, Cramer doesn't think the stock market believes sanctions on Russia will hurt the earnings of U.S. based companies. (It's a belief that Cramer feels may be misguided; scroll down for more.)

2. Bonds

"The flight to quality trade has sent the interest rate for bonds so low that stocks, once again, look pretty darned good by comparison," Cramer said.

3. Aggressive corporate moves

Cramer said Allergan may be the poster child for this category. "It announced huge layoffs and issued a 2016 forecast that makes the stock seem so cheap you have to wonder whether you can do better voting with CEO David Pyott than with the hostile takeover offer from Valeant."

4. Deal making

The flood of M&A has captured the imaginations of investors with pros buying stocks in anticipation of the next takeover.

5. Activism

"This morning we learned that Elliott Management has taken a position in EMC and asked the company to fully spin off its fast-growing VMWare subsidiary. EMC's stock has flatlined forever, but this news sent it soaring. When such large companies are vulnerable to pressure from activists, you get very nervous if you aren't fully invested."

6. Good earnings

Strong results from corporate America have cheered the Street. "It's hard to sit out a market when so many companies beat estimates and raise numbers."

7. Fewer IPOs and secondaries

"We're not seeing a lot of new stock for sale, which helps keep supply and demand in balance," Cramer said.

8. Janet Yellen

"The new Fed chief is in no hurry to raise rates. She's waiting. She's patient."

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Although the preceding reasons explain why the market was relatively buoyant on Monday, Cramer isn't sure all the reasons are warranted.

He's most worried about sanctions against Russia.

Although the sanctions themselves may not cause significant harm to U.S. companies, Cramer can see repercussions from the sanctions taking a very serious toll.

"I could see the Russians kicking out Mastercard and Visa, which have tens of millions of credit cards there. Russia could put its own system in place, something they buzzed about when Putin first started meddling in Ukraine. We could also see some of the machinery companies get hurt. And Russia could kick out Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as some of the other packaged goods companies."

Also Cramer thinks the market is forgetting the ripple that events could have on Europe. "In this case, I would say the market hasn't correctly assessed the downside yet, and there's potentially a lot more downside."

Therefore, Cramer wouldn't put money to work, just yet.

"Now, I'm not saying that this is a perilous situation. I simply want to wait for lower prices before I do any more buying. If that sounds bearish to you, so be it."



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