CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday said the stock market got hit because "we were due for a pullback."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 343 points, or 1.28%, the S&P 500 fell 1.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.13% during the session. The major indexes are up about 14%, 17% and 19%, respectively, year to date.
The "Mad Money" host attempted to ease investors' recession worries, which helped sink stocks after a disappointing report on U.S. manufacturing production showed a decline in September. While the case is compelling, he urged investors that it's the wrong way to view the market.
"The single biggest prop behind the recession thesis is the president's trade policy, but maybe not the way you think," Cramer said. "Trump's tariffs on Chinese exports have done real damage to the Chinese economy, the second largest in the world. As China falters, it is taking the rest of its trading partners with it, especially Europe."
Cramer went on to attribute Tuesday's market decline to other factors. With the calendar year rolling into the fourth quarter, mutual funds are taking profits — especially in a market that's overbought — to allow their investors to prepare for tax planning, he said. The latest class of initial public offerings that buyers have little interest in is also weighing down stocks, he added. There are also worries about trade negotiations and politics, the host said.
The U.S. economy today is less dependent on manufacturing than it is on services, Cramer argued.
"We are not going back to the 2009 economy — that's the worst since the Great Depression," he said. "Frankly, I doubt our exports could take us down like that. They're too small … to do all that much damage."
As stocks fall, Cramer suggested that buyers should get ready to add holdings to their portfolios.
"If you've been selling stock for weeks to raise cash, as I've been advising you to, this is a good time to start looking for stocks to buy into weakness ... ," he said. "But if you're living in fear of a recession or the prospect of an Elizabeth Warren presidency, I think you're going to miss out on some terrific opportunities."