Cramer: Investors who bet against stocks in 2019 are scrambling to cover their losses

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer says investors who bet against stocks for 2019 may be now scrambling to cover their losses.
  • The idea that 2019 would be a disaster for stocks is beginning to unravel, he adds.

CNBC's Jim Cramer contended Friday that investors who bet against stocks for 2019 may be now scrambling to cover their losses as the market attempts its fifth straight week of gains.

The idea that this year would be a disaster for stocks is beginning to unravel, Cramer said on "Squawk Box." "And those who came in short are now kind of saying, 'Well, it was supposed to be a really bad year. Where is that happening?'"

Cramer was referring to short sellers, which are traders who bet against a company by selling shares they don't own and buying them back at a lower price.

Stocks opened higher Friday, in part, on renewed optimism that a solution to the government shutdown, now approaching its sixth week, would come soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all notched four straight weeks of gains and could get a fifth if markets close Friday high enough.

Markets ended 2018 by posting their worst yearly performances since the financial crisis amid concerns of an economic slowdown and fears that the Federal Reserve under Chairman Jerome Powell might be too aggressive in its path to raise interest rates. Cramer was one of Powell's biggest critics.

Some Wall Street analysts at the time said those risks would remain in 2019 and perhaps "the worst" had "yet to come" in the new year amid pessimistic sentiment around earnings.

Cramer, host of "Mad Money," argued last week that the late-2018 breakdown left the market so undervalued that it felt "dangerous not to buy stocks," even if their catalysts were "nothing to write home about."

On Friday, Cramer said he's a bit more "sanguine" than most about the market in 2019.