Doubt can be Wall Street's best friend.
Investors are skeptical about the state of the market and which way it's going, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday — they're the fuel that continues to drive the bull further.
After the major indexes gave up much of their gains from earlier in the day, Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up more than 117 points, the settled higher 0.77% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.06%.
The "Mad Money'" host said the session is a "pretty good microcosm for how the whole year's been going."
"The market is full of skeptics. It's full of bears who sometimes masquerade as bulls, and their doubt is the fuel that lets us go higher," he explained to viewers. "Bull markets thrive on disbelief. The moment everyone believes in the bull, well the rally's over, because then there's no one left to buy."
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a truce in the ongoing trade dispute over the weekend, but investors are still uncertain, Cramer said. It's not clear that China will refrain from retaliating against the United States, though there are some positives in the latest developments on the trade front, he said.
With Trump's decision to reduce sanctions on Huawei, American suppliers to the Chinese telecommunications giant — such as Micron — will gain some confidence after being allowed to resume business with the company, Cramer said. Micron revealed that the Huawei blacklist cost them $200 million in sales in the last quarter, he noted. It's also a positive for Nvidia, which needs China's approval as part of an international council to complete its acquisition of Mellanox, he said.
The market is trying to have it both ways on the trade deal, Cramer said disapprovingly. Some bears are skeptical if a trade deal means anything, while other bears think the trade truce will dissuade the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates later this month, he said.
But the pessimism is what carried the major averages higher in the first half of 2019, he continued.
"Stocks climbed the wall, the bizarre wall of worry, frankly, that stems from a belief that earnings are going to collapse and the president cares more about crushing China than he cares about helping the stock market," Cramer said. "However, those earnings have proven to be far more resilient than the pessimists expected ... and the president has a bullish habit of changing his stance whenever he sees stocks going down for too long."
That explains the fall and rise in other technology stocks like Apple and Facebook, he said. While the iPhone maker is in the crosshairs of both the U.S. and China, its growing services business has allowed the stock to bounce back above $200 after plummeting to $142 earlier this year. Facebook continues to be saddled with privacy issues, but users still love the platform and sister app, Instagram.
"This market just won't quit because there are so many money managers with one foot out the door," he said. "Every time something good happens, they need to jump right back [in] at higher prices, and that's the real driving force behind this remarkable rally."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Apple, Facebook, and Nvidia.