CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday advised that investors go hunting for companies that have strong fundamentals but whose stock prices are backtracking after Wall Street declined for the first time in multiple sessions.
"We needed a breather. The market can't go up every day without some sellers coming out of the woodwork," the "Mad Money" host said. "This is exactly, though, the kind of pullback I've been waiting for, so we have to use this moment to regroup and figure out the market's next move."
The market took a break from its upward climb as valuations on many stocks are nearing their limits, among other market-moving factors, he added.
"Review your portfolio. Understand that if you have a bunch of high-flying momentum stocks — they're going to trade together and they're going to go down — you might want to trim those positions, as we've been doing for my charitable trust," Cramer said.
The comments come after the Dow Jones dropped 135 points, or 0.50%, to 26,734.71 for the blue-chip index's first decline in four sessions and just the fourth down day this month. The S&P 500 slipped 0.34% to 3,215.57 and the Nasdaq Composite reversed 0.73% to 10,473.83.
The broad S&P index turned in its fourth decline in July and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined for just the third time this month. The major averages are all up more or less 4% month to date.
Cramer offered viewers a playbook and handful of stocks he would keep an eye on to buy at attractive levels. While he did not contemplate how much further the market may decline, the host revealed what stocks he's keeping an eye on.
Those included Abbott Laboratories, PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley and Johnson & Johnson. He also recommended tech giants of Facebook, Alphabet-subsidiary Google and Salesforce, all of who "have nothing to do with China and they're doing great."
In a speech earlier that day in Michigan, U.S. Attorney General William Barr chided Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Cisco and Hollywood for their dealings with China, claiming the entities are "all too willing to collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party. All of the aforementioned tech names, minus Facebook, saw their shares slip in Thursday's session.
Cramer also put Amazon on his watch list.
"The stock's now down more than 10% from its highs, though it did find a slew of buyers late today coming in off its lowest levels," he said. "That's exactly what should happen."
Regardless of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, Cramer said opportunities exist to put more money to work in the market. The sell-off was shaped largely by profit-taking.
"Don't panic. Look for the stocks of high-quality companies that are going lower even though they deserve to go higher," he said. "And if that's too much work for you, you've got my blessing to gradually leg into a low-cost index fund on the way down."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, Salesforce and PepsiCo.