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Cramer names the 12 factors driving the market-wide rally

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer says that Tuesday's rally might be as flaky as Monday's sell-off.
  • Still, the rally's drivers might be more clear than the catalysts for the pullback, he says.

CNBC's Jim Cramer is the first to say that Tuesday's rally is arguably as unimportant as Monday's sell-off.

"I want to say it had more substance given its magnitude," the "Mad Money" host said. "But we are in a totally erratic moment in a totally erratic month where I truly believe one day never seems to beget the next. But that doesn't mean we can't ponder why we went up to measure the meaning of this rally."

So rather than writing the rally off as a random August swing, Cramer found 12 factors that could be reviving the bull market.

1. Minerals

First, copper broke out to a three-year high, which Cramer saw as a sign of better growth prospects. Those prospects could translate into boosts for shares of Freeport-McMoRan and Caterpillar, two key beneficiaries of mineral rallies.

The rally also pushed up shares of Alcoa, a leading aluminum producer. Cramer said the stock's breakout could be thanks to China making less aluminum because of air quality concerns.

"My thesis: China's strengthening and it's reverberating throughout the industrial world," he said. "This move is actually based on something. I like it."

2. Europe

European markets ticked up slightly on Tuesday. Cramer said the move didn't make much sense, but since U.S. markets have been trading in sync with those overseas, Europe could have contributed to the bump.

3. Interest Rates

A slight uptick in interest rates could have come from high hopes about Janet Yellen's Friday speech in Jackson Hole, Cramer said.

If the Federal Reserve Chair says employment is strong, investors may feel more certain about a December interest rate hike.

"Banks need rate hikes more than anything else, and a rally led by the banks is good news for the market," Cramer said.

4. Congress

As Cramer said earlier Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement that there is "zero chance" that Congress does not raise the debt ceiling could be one of the rally's catalysts.

"If they get this done and nobody tries to put health care back on the agenda, which is just so toxic, then maybe, just maybe, we could have a serious discussion about tax reform," a more bipartisan-friendly issue than health care, Cramer said.

5. Trump

Cramer was a bit surprised that President Donald Trump's Monday evening speech about the administration's strategy in Afghanistan was on message.

As Congress seems interested in spending money on defense, the speech could mean that stocks like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Boeing gain traction, Cramer said.

6. Correction

Roughly 40 percent of stocks in the S&P 500 index are down over 10 percent from their pre-pullback highs.

"If you were waiting for a correction to start happening to do some buying, I've got news for you: it already happened," Cramer said.

7. Macy's

In what Cramer saw as a promising development from last quarter, Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC on Tuesday that the company's dividend is safe and that Macy's will focus on monetizing its real estate assets.

"Anything positive from retail after the destruction wrought by Foot Locker, well, it's most welcome," the "Mad Money" host said.

8. Data Centers

After speaking with the CEO of data center REIT CyrusOne on Monday, it became clear to Cramer that the shift to the cloud is not only in its early stages, but happening rapidly.

"You have to feel terrific about this portion of tech," Cramer said, adding that the fact that Amazon Web Services, the e-commerce company's cloud computing arm, is not infringing on its competitors is a "gigantic positive."

9. Chips

Of the non-FANG technology names, Cramer saw the moves in chipmaker Micron and semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research as the most important to the broader rally.

"These are ridiculously cheap stocks if business stays strong, and the market's been acting as if the next year has to be worse than this year because people worry that too much money has been spent building new plants, so supply's going to overwhelm demand," the "Mad Money" host said. "Maybe it isn't happening."

10. Apple

Shares of Apple have stalled over the last week or so, prompting analysts across Wall Street to look for possible reasons for weakness.

"So [when] Apple's stock rallies like today, everyone searches for something that's right. [But] they buy first," Cramer said.

11. The Classics

Cramer also noticed "classic growth names" such as Starbucks and McDonald's seeing some gains. Along with the biotech and video game stocks, growth names like these often form the perfect backdrop to a sound rally, he said.

12. Earnings

Finally, earnings reports from homebuilder Toll Brothers, cosmetics company Coty and medical device giant Medtronic all came in weaker than expected, but the market didn't care.

"A market that shrugs off what are perceived as disappointing quarters is a market that could roar on genuinely good numbers," Cramer said.

And that's what the fabric of this rally is, in Cramer's eyes: an assortment of positives with a few largely ignored negatives.

"Yesterday's early morning trashing was based on nothing. At least today's run has got some underpinnings, which is highly unusual in the month of August, when, as I've said repeatedly, we so frequently trade on nothing and make up reasons for every move in every direction," the "Mad Money" host said.

Watch the full segment: Cramer's 12 rally drivers

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares in Apple and Starbucks.

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