Stocks closed at session lows Tuesday, with the S&P 500 logging its worst day in three months, as concerns about global growth and mounting fears over Spain overshadowed initial enthusiasm over some upbeat economic reports.
The market was largely pulled lower by Caterpillar after the heavy machinery maker cut its profit outlook, the latest high-profile company to warn about profit growth. Its stock closed lower, but Cramer expected “much, much worse.”
The news follows lowered outlooks by transportation giant Norfolk Southern in recent weeks. Its stock closed lower, but Cramer expected it to suffer even larger losses.
In Cramer’s opinion, it’s noteworthy that reactions have been benign to news that would typically produce multi-day down moves in select stocks and the greater market. He thinks the muted declines can be attributed to an “end of the quarter phenomenon,” in which money managers are frantically trying to turn their portfolios around.
“Money managers are buying stocks that are down on their luck that represent companies that could be doing better next year and that’s giving us some extra lift,” Cramer said. “They thirst for a sell-off like today and want to put money to work so they can catch up to the averages and this is their chance.”
So while the day’s action isn’t necessarily a win for the bulls, Cramer thinks it’s definitely not a convincing win for the bears either.
Read on for Cramer's Top Dividend Stocks 2012
—CNBC.com and Reuters contributed to this report
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