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It may feel like the stock market is collapsing, but investors would be better served to "sit tight" and wait for a bounce rather than selling stocks at their lows, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday after a brutal day for the major averages.
"Here's the problem: we had a lot of companies report and they had one little thing wrong and they just got crushed, so the market's being too picky," Cramer, host of "Mad Money," explained in a fireside chat with callers.
But the sell-off, which was exacerbated by the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike on Wednesday, will eventually end and create a better selling opportunity for the risk-averse, he said.
"If it's got a good balance sheet and good prospects and Jay [Powell] comes to his senses, you're going to say, 'Why didn't I buy some?' And that's why we're positioning for the club to doing a little buying," he said, referring to his charitable trust, ActionAlertsPlus.com. "We're not selling down here. It's too late. It may be too early to buy, but it's too late to just start [selling]. Wait for a bounce."
Click here to watch Cramer's fireside chat and hear more about his take on the current market moment.
For Cramer, the worst part about latest interest rate hike is that the central bank's chief, Jerome Powell, seemed to ignore what Cramer regards as "serious" weakness in the U.S. economy.
"I have a better read on the economy than the Fed and I know they're not going to listen to me," the "Mad Money" host said Thursday as the fell to a 14-month low. "I feel powerless, , when I ranted that the Fed needed to start easing aggressively in order to stave off a financial catastrophe."
In the Fed's Wednesday announcement, Fed Chair Jerome Powell lowered his forecast for U.S. gross domestic product, a key measure of economic welfare, but said the Fed would likely still hike rates twice in 2019.
Cramer questioned Powell's reasoning. He reiterated that the economy has cooled since October, as demonstrated by weakness in consumer and corporate spending, and if it continues to weaken, more interest rate raises will only cause "a nasty slowdown."
Click here for his full analysis.
stock may have finally put in a bottom after falling as low as $6.66 last week, but now may not be the best time to buy into shares of the embattled industrial, Cramer said Thursday.
Last week, analyst and Steve Tusa the struggling company's stock, citing a more "balanced risk-reward" profile and an improved outlook on management's ability to "execute its way through an elongated workout." The upgrade took GE's rating to "neutral" from "underperform" and ended a recommendation to short the stock.
GE shares traded higher on the news, climbing 12 percent from its lows last week. This Wednesday, longtime GE analyst with an upgrade of his own, his first "buy" recommendation for the stock in more than a decade.
"GE deserved to rebound based on that upgrade from Steve Tusa, the analyst with the sharpest read on where the company's headed," Cramer said. "However, Tusa didn't exactly give you the green light to start buying here."
Click here to read his full analysis.
A key piece of legislation that will pave the way to a legal cannabis economy in the United States could pass as soon as 2019, Kevin Murphy, the founder, chairman and CEO of Acreage Holdings, told CNBC on Thursday.
"We believe it's not necessarily an if, but a when, and I believe it's not within the next couple of years. I believe it takes place in 2019," Murphy told Cramer in an exclusive "Mad Money" interview.
Murphy was referring to the STATES Act, a bipartisan bill crafted by Sens. Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren. An acronym for "Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States," the bill would pave the way for U.S.-based cannabis businesses like Acreage to run their operations legally, have accounts at federally regulated banks and list on U.S. stock exchanges if passed.
Murphy said that the passage would also mark the start of a cannabis industry migration to the U.S. market.
Click here to watch and read more about his interview.
Paychex President and CEO Marty Mucci "wasn't as impressed" by the Fed's statement that it would hike rates twice in 2019 as he was about the central bank's newfound commitment to following the data, he told Cramer in a Thursday interview.
"I'd rather they follow the data and then, who knows? Maybe it'll slow down a bit," he said of the U.S. economy.
For now, though, things seem strong, at least based on Paychex's business, which provides small and medium-sized businesses around the country with payroll, human resources and other administrative services, Mucci said.
"We're certainly not seeing any uptick of business failures and we're still seeing business formations growing. You know, employment is less, certainly, but that's because it's very difficult to find employees," he told Cramer.
"I don't think the economy's super strong, but I certainly think it's steady growth and we're seeing small- to mid-sized businesses even saying that they're turning down some work because they can't find the employees due to the low unemployment rate," the CEO continued. "So I think the demand is there and the optimism for businesses is there."
Click here to watch the interview.
In Cramer's lightning round, he raced through his responses to callers' stock questions:
: "I like Blackstone. It's got a 9 percent yield. It's really well run. [CEO Steven] Schwarzman has seen all kinds of markets. I have faith in them. I think they know what they're doing."
: "I like the woman products. I mean, look, this is a total spec, OK? It's a total spec. They're losing money hand over fist, actually, but I think what matters is that if you want to speculate with it, I'm going to give you my blessing."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of J.P. Morgan.