Mad Money

Buy stocks slowly — 'we're getting closer to a bottom,' Jim Cramer says

Key Points
  • "We've had back-to-back days, though, where 10 times as many stocks were falling versus going up, and that is highly unusual," CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
  • "It suggests we're getting closer to a bottom ... though we probably may not be there yet," the "Mad Money" host said.
  • "You buy slowly in stages. Next week is stage one. There will be more stages, likely at lower levels," he said.
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'We're getting closer to a bottom,' Jim Cramer says, so buy stocks slowly

Wall Street is in deep correction territory, stocks have been discounted and the embargo on putting money in securities is now over after a tough week of trading shrouded in coronavirus uncertainty, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday.

"We've had back-to-back days, though, where 10 times as many stocks were falling versus going up, and that is highly unusual," the "Mad Money" host explained. "It suggests we're getting closer to a bottom ... though we probably may not be there yet."

Cramer came to that conclusion after $3.18 trillion of value was cut out of the market during Wall Street's worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. Investors transferred money from riskier assets to safe havens such as bonds as worries mounted about the novel coronavirus' impact on businesses and a slowing global economy.

Cramer said investors with stock in travel, leisure, automotive and housing companies should consider offloading their holdings and building cash. Those businesses will likely miss their quarterly projections, meaning they have not seen the end of the rout in their valuations, he said. The public should expect more negative COVID-19 headlines to come out during the weekend that can impact trading on Monday, Cramer said.

"This is the time to high grade your portfolio, regardless. I want you to take some losses and move to better stocks," he said. "I know these groups have already been crushed. That doesn't mean they can't get crushed some more."

The host recommended a basket of stocks, ranging from gold to consumer staples to pharmaceuticals, that he thinks are investible here:

"I'm urging you to have a lot of cash on the sidelines and put money to work gradually 'cause there may be more bad stories," Cramer said. "You buy slowly in stages. Next week is stage one. There will be more stages, likely at lower levels."

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Buy stocks slowly — 'we're getting closer to a bottom,' Jim Cramer says

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of AbbVie.

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