Pros such as Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, believe some of the weakness may be due to the impact of a and a relative weak global economy ahead of corporate earnings. Therefore, "It is very possible that estimate cuts are in front of us,'' he said in a Reuters interview.
However, if the cuts send stocks tumbling once again, Jim Cramer doesn't want you to panic.
After 30 years in the business, he's learned that estimate cuts aren't always bearish. As weird as it may seem, they can be bullish.
"If you want to know the single most reliable sign that a stock is bottoming, you simply need to wait for the moment when the estimates are so low that they can finally be beaten."
Of course Cramer knows it's not easy to buy stocks in the scenario outlined above. If the strategy takes more courage, or simply more time and effort, than you can muster right now, Cramer has another, simpler, idea for you.
He says keep your ear to the ground for word of a forthcoming secondary.
Although you'd think a secondary is negative for shareholders, Cramer's research shows that's not necessarily the case. "Forget the conventional wisdom that says a secondary stock offering always means a company is in trouble and the stock is going to get poleaxed. There are many cases where secondaries can make fabulous buying opportunities."
Also, as you sift for opportunities amid the declines, Cramer says beware of this easy mistake. Don't take cash on the books as an immediate buy signal. Although cash is never a bad thing, it's not always a reason to pull the trigger, either, even if a stock seems cheap.
"Unless rates are high, cash by itself actually means very little. What really matters is how companies put that cash to work."
Finally, Cramer knows that many individual investors right now are nursing wounds after landing on the wrong side of a relatively big bet.
If that's you, "Resist the urge to sell your franchise players, no matter how tempting it may be," Cramer said. "The only time it makes sense to blow out of a core holding is if the fundamentals take a nosedive. Aside from that, trust your instincts. Stand by your stocks."