CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday urged investors to wait for the market to sell-off more before scooping up stocks. The "Mad Money" host did, however, offer ideas on a few stocks that are safe to build position in, such as Frank's Red Hot parent McCormick. Later in the show, he checks in with payroll provider Paychex CEO Marty Mucci to get a read on the state of hiring ahead of Friday's nonfarm jobs report.
said Wednesday that investors should continue to practice patience, wait for the stock market to fall into oversold territory and prepare to find points of entry into weakness.
The "Mad Money" host, who has yet to be convinced that a recession is inevitable, turned to his favorite overbought/oversold gauge in the S&P's proprietary short-range oscillator to make his investment case. Last month, he said based on an eight-point read on the indicator.
Anything above five means stocks have run too far, he added.
"The oscillator still isn't down enough for me to turn positive. So find some stocks that can work in this environment and pick at them slowly," Cramer argued. "Beyond that, stay patient, be optimistic for once" and wait for a better moment.
Cramer said investment habits on Wall Street are changing from large institutions to individual players, and it's creating a tough environment for companies to raise capital, grow business and reward shareholders.
The large institutions over time "have practically traded themselves into oblivion," smaller institutions are steering clear of stocks for safer investments in bonds, and individual investors have ditched stock picking for index funds, the host said.
"I think we're approaching a day of reckoning here where private companies better start recognizing that they may be better off staying private, unless they are desperate," he said.
Cramer said spice maker and food company McCormick is a stock worth owning as the market continues its recent unpredictability.
"A straightforward consumer staple play like McCormick is just what the doctor ordered," he said. "As long as the market remains choppy, I think this stock is the kind of stock you buy on the way down, ... and I like it even more after today's pullback."
Small business job growth rebounded last month "for the first time in a few years," despite increasing concerns that the U.S. economy is slowing down, Paychex CEO Marty Mucci told Cramer.
In the September reading of the Small Business Employment Watch from Paychex and IHS Markit, the jobs index posted a 0.21% gain, which snapped six straight months of decline. That's the fastest one-month move since 2016, according to Paychex, the country's second-largest payroll processor behind ADP.
"One month doesn't make a trend, but we certainly saw job growth pick up a bit. [The index is] down 1% from last year, the job growth level for small businesses, but that's because it's a tight market and it's tight for small businesses to hire and retain folks," he said in a one-on-one interview on "Mad Money." "But right now, you know, we're feeling pretty good on the business sentiment."
The private trading app Robinhood has forced traditional stock brokers like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and E-Trade to offer commission-free investing, and investors should be aware that the industry disruption is not over, Cramer said.
"Schwab made this move because they were being disrupted and while this should give them more breathing room, I don't think it changes the core dynamic here," he argued. "At the end of the day, you don't want exposure to an industry that's being disrupted."
In Cramer's lightning round, the "Mad Money" host sprinted through his recommendations on callers' favorite stock picks of the day.
: "Trade Desk is precisely the kind of stock that as it goes down you can pick at it slowly. It reminds me a lot about Shopify, same deal. But don't be aggressive 'cause you'll end up being burned."
BioLife Solutions: "I got to do some work on BioLife."