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Cramer: This is 'not a market for the squeamish,' but I do see 'some positives'

Key Points
  • CNBC's Jim Cramer shares his take on the stock market's recent volatility and flags some "positives" he sees going into 2019.
  • "It is not a market for the squeamish," but some high-quality stocks including Walmart hold up for those with a longer-term outlook, he says.
  • The most important thing is to figure out your time horizon and whether you can withstand the swings, he explains.
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This market is no longer as safe as it's been, says Jim Cramer

The stock market's dramatic swings have given way to some positive trends, even as they might not feel safe to the average investor, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday after another wild ride on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Thursday's trading session more than 250 points higher after enduring a 600-point intraday drop. On Wednesday, the Dow logged a 1,086.25-point gain, its biggest single-day point rally ever.

"It is not a market for the squeamish," Cramer, host of "Mad Money," said in an after-hours special on CNBC. Still, he said he sees "some positives" amid the madness, which some believe is a sign that stocks are bottoming after a tough year.

Those positives, he said, include excessive pessimism among investors and the broader market being oversold, a condition that tends to create bargains in individual stocks of top-notch companies.

"We have had an ongoing, rolling crash for months, and it's not like there aren't some bargains at 13 times earnings," Cramer argued.

He recommended that investors evaluate their time horizon — the time frame in which they'd like to make money from their investments — and, depending on that, slowly start picking at high-quality names that have faced "serious destruction."

Investors in their 60s or 70s may want to steer clear given the risk levels, he warned, but those in their 20s, 30s or 40s could opt for an index fund or nibble at some individual stocks.

"This market is no longer as safe as it's been, because you don't like when it goes up 1,000, then down 800," Cramer said. "That's not healthy. But I also think that if you've got the time horizon to own a high-quality Eli Lilly or a high-quality Walmart, high-quality J.P. Morgan, I don't think you're going to do badly. But you can't look at it like you used to, because it's going to make you sick. "

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of J.P. Morgan.