From an unexpected rise in consumer prices to weak housing data, and the mounting crisis in Iraq, CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday said there are "lots of reasons" for investors to be careful right now.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with saying let's watch it a little. That's what I want to do. That's not I'm a bear. Let's watch it a little," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."
Indeed, there was no shortage of disappointing data on Tuesday.
The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent last month, its largest increase in more than a year. Food prices posted their biggest gain since August 2011.
Meantime, housing starts fell 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1 million units, the Commerce Department said. Cramer had hoped for 1.1 million units, but said "grave restrictions" have made it difficult for some people to get a mortgage, putting a damper on housing demand.
Separately, al-Qaeda-linked rebels have captured swathes of territory in northwest and central Iraq, including the city of Mosul, seizing large amounts of U.S.-supplied modern weaponry from the fleeing Iraqi army and looting banks. In response, the Pentagon plans to send 275 troops to protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, as well as other U.S. interests.
To Cramer, all of this justifies investors waiting for a compelling reason to buy.
"You don't have to go full pedal to the metal here. We've had a big run," he said. "A lot of the really aggressive, high multiple to sales stocks have come back dramatically, too, and that's a good opportunity to lighten those up. I don't want to recommend those here."
Though Cramer recommends investors reduce risk and raise cash, he added it would be a "bad" idea to simply "sell everything."
—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm, with Reuters.