Mad Money

Cramer: Early glimpse of what’s to come

Fed on center stage until earnings: Cramer

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

Jim Cramer has spotted modest yet meaningful signs in the market that could be rather telling about the days to come.

And those signs suggest good things lie ahead for the economy. Take a look:

1. Private sector job creation surged in November, with ADP reporting 215,000 new jobs. Economists expected ADP to report the private sector created 173,000 new jobs in November.

2. The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes jumped 25.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000 units. That's the biggest increase in nearly 33-1/2 years in October.

3. Permits for future U.S. home construction rose to their highest level in nearly 5-1/2 years in October. The Commerce Department said building permits jumped 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million units.

4. Data from the Fed's beige book showed manufacturing expanded, particularly in autos and tech, while employment showed a modest increase in select Fed districts.

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All told, Cramer thinks the data suggests better times lie ahead. Now, is this good for the stock market?

The question may seem counterintuitive, even ridiculous but in the current market environment, Wall Street is focused on the Fed. And data points, such as those above which show strength, suggest Fed tapering may be imminent.

Tapering is largely viewed as negative for stocks.

Going forward, Cramer thinks this could be the new norm. That is, new data confirms that the economy is getting stronger. In turn that strength generates worries that the stock market can't rally without the Fed.

"That's the new tug of war you are going to see," Cramer explained. "It's a game that was played out in the late afternoon on Wednesday."

That is, the market's sharp decline into lunch time reflects selling triggered by fear of tapering and the subsequent advance toward break-even reflects buyers "who want in because they think earnings are now going to be substantially better because of all of this great data," Cramer said.

Who wins?

In the near-term Cramer thinks the bears have an edge. With corporate earnings largely done for the year, the "Mad Money" host just doesn't see a catalyst that can assuage taper fears.

However, Cramer also thinks the scales tip in January.

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"The upside surprises on the bottom line have been very respectable this year. Now, though we have a chance for upside surprises on the top-line. That should translate to some remarkable numbers when the next batch of earnings comes hit in January."

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