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There's plenty of chatter about how recent market developments are eerily similar to the events of 2000. Is history about to repeat itself?
Jim Cramer has written about the 2000 period in both his books and elsewhere, "I have studied this period endlessly," the "Mad Money" host said.
Looking at the market now versus then, here's what Cramer finds intriguing.
"First, many people are in somewhat niche stocks simply because they needed to beat their benchmark, the S&P 500. Same with the remarkable 1999 run up to the top, " Cramer said.
That bodes poorly for those niche stocks.
"Second, back then, companies that were leaders were throwing around their dollars and their stocks like they were going out of style. They bought each other. They bought private companies. They paid any price. We don't have that level of foolish acquisitions yet, but and the Street doesn't like them. "
A third similarity that bodes poorly:
"In 2000, we got a huge number of 'me-too' companies coming to the IPO market and they quickly went after each other hammer and tongs for customers in the Internet space, " Cramer said. "It was an annihilation caused by too many companies getting too much capital. That's precisely what's happening right now, and you see it worst in the software as a service space where everyone's gunning for each other."
Again, not good.
Because of these similarities, Cramer says there's a growing belief on Wall Street that the market is analogous to that of 2000.
"Many, many people believe that it's only just beginning to roll over," Cramer said.
But that might not be the case. Despite the similarities, Cramer also said there's a difference—and it's huge.
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In 2000, weakness in tech "dwarfed the rest of the market and obscured the amazing runs in the foods, the beverages, the drugs, the traditional non-tech growth stocks, the industrials, the oils, and the utilities. Yes, tech was so huge that it blighted the S&P, despite the big rallies in other sectors. "
Today, Cramer says the sectors that rallied when the dotcom bubble burst are on relatively firm footing. So, he thinks they can withstand weakness in other sectors, particularly tech.
In turn, he doesn't think a broad market decline is a foregone conclusion.
"I wouldn't run from the market, especially those sectors that are buoyed by better sales and better earnings."
However, when it comes to the stocks that have fallen out of favor, you may want to consider selling into strength, he says. In these cases, "I think we have to recognize that this market is just too similar to 2000 for us to ignore the parallels."
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