As market churns, time is your friend

Some analysts are saying this is a buying opportunity, but it might be better to watch and wait.

By Jim Cramer Jun 21, 2013 9:32AM

thestreet logoLook, if it were just U.S. interest rates that were going up and nothing else, I would say: "You know what? Let's see what looks good in the fallout and do some buying." But it is so much more than that. So much more is going wrong.

China injected banking reserves last night, or else U.S. stocks would be down hideously again. But no one really has a clue about what's going on in China, and higher rates here cannot be good for fund flows there under any circumstances. 

Europe is just bad, yet it's stable. But will it remain stable? After all, some of the interest rates in the peripheral countries are creeping up, and we are headed into the traditionally slow summer.


Brazil is horrendous. Anything you touch down there -- and I have attempted to touch it -- is disastrous. I actually believe it's getting worse, as the country is spending fortunes building stadiums and the like while the people revolt. India has inflation and slow growth. Japan is made up -- just made up -- and is a huge part of the problem, because it wants a currency war at the wrong time and the wrong place.


There are whole emerging markets in which currencies have been paying better rates for money than the U.S. has. They are experiencing outflows that are, at least to their countries, frightening in the way this was in 1996 and 1997.


Trading floor (© Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStock)In that environment I am supposed to step into the breach and buy a homebuilding stock -- all while mortgage rates could go up 25% in the next few weeks? In this environment I am supposed to buy the stock of a company with low growth, and yield that is less than that of the 30-year U.S. Treasury, that needs a weak dollar in order to beat the numbers?


In this environment I am supposed to trust Fed chief Ben Bernanke over the bond market? The latter telling me to forget about Bernanke at the same time that President Barack Obama seems to be saying the same thing in, frankly, a very rude sort of way.

In this environment I am supposed to go and buy stocks that every chartist in the book tells me are totally broken, even as the market isn't yet oversold? On top of that, we are heading into the holidays, when there is a dearth of information.


No, thanks.


Here are the two weapons I want to deploy against this market. First, I want time -- time to see how things shake out. Why do I have to decide today that this is the place and the moment to make a stand? Why? 'Cause I woke up and the futures were up because of Chinese reserves? This bounce could last 10 days, or it could last five days, or it could last 10 hours or until 2 p.m. ET, for all I know.

Second, price is my friend. Last night, as I went over the charts, with the help of my colleague and fellow  writer Matt Horween, I found a bunch of health care real estate investment trusts and some office and retail REITs trading at last above 5%. That's intriguing. It's a good place to start. But that's all it is -- a good place to start. I saw many other charts of stocks that seemed to be hanging around waiting for news, but news of what? Nothing I know.

So I would just as soon be a seller as a buyer. That's not encouraging.


The only big thing this market has going for it is that it is down 5% from the highs. That's not insignificant, but it is certainly nothing that says, "OK, I have to go buy the market," especially when I am looking for the edge with individual stocks.


So I wait. I have patience. I want my prices. Not their prices. May not get them. In a rising-interest-rate environment, that's OK. I don't need them. At least not yet. 


C'est la vie.




Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust.




More from

Jun 21, 2013 10:00AM
There's nothing wrong with waiting around to get a better idea of the direction we're headed in.  Hell, even if you sold everything today, you're still sitting pretty after the run-up we've had.  Pick and choose your spots and if you have to wait it out another day or another week, so be it.
Jun 21, 2013 9:47AM
Saying for the day gentlemen.  DO NOT TRY AND CATCH A FALLING KNIFE!
Jun 21, 2013 10:10AM
So Cramer, ARE you a seller? Why so much jibber jabber? Are you not allowed to say you are selling? So far all you are telling us is you are going to wait before you buy. Tell us the whole story.
Jun 21, 2013 11:33AM
Well, they didn't wait long; at 1125 hrs they called to accelerate the selling so down we go once again....Forget fundamentals, forget common sense, its all driven by these manipulators and they are making tons and tons of money...Lets see what happens this afternoon...Don't be surprised if we are down triple digits again, why? Because they can.
Jun 21, 2013 10:37AM
I was reading an article about real estate on MSN and they said that at the end of last year, 21.5% of all mortgages were still underwater.   That's quite a bit higher than I was expecting.  If interest rates rise, we'll see values drop even further.  Just something else to make the snowball bigger and give it more momentum.
Jun 21, 2013 1:22PM

One of my favorite sayings is


"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just shoot you."

Jun 21, 2013 10:16AM

In this environment I am supposed to trust Fed chief Ben Bernanke over the bond market?


Jimmy, my mommy said never ever trust anybody or anything.  You got to do your homework and see which stocks are being lumped together with all the others and will not be hurt or might even benefit from raising interest rates. If the economy does continue to recover, Uncle Ben may have trumped that issue, then large caps with good stories and little or no debt are good at reduced prices. Also funds that make their living off of adverse and inverse market and rate movements. I'll bet Buffet's buying.

Jun 21, 2013 12:31PM
On Brazil, it´s not that the country is spending a fortune building soccer stadiums, but the corruption in the process. Construction companies are well known there for rigging bids and overcharging, just to split the extra charges with government members. It has always been like that, but right now the economy is slow, mainly because of the slowdown in China, and the people feels that more deeply.
Jun 21, 2013 2:26PM


Have you been to Vegas since the Imperial Palace remodel?  It's now The Quad.  Not sure where that name came from.  It looks pretty hip from the outside.  They kept the Dealertainers and the car collection.  They haven't remodeled the rooms yet, so they are still the old Imperial Palace furniture.  It is also the loudest casino in the world. The sound system is so loud with the music you can't hear yourself think.  They definitely have a one-sided marketing strategy because everyone in the casion and everyone staying at the hotel is colored.



Jun 21, 2013 11:34AM


You people just don't care.  Paula Deen is too tired to appear on TV and all you can talk about is money.


Conoco below $60.00 a share.  Yow!


Anyway, take comfort in the fact that whatever is wrong is somebody else's fault.



Jun 21, 2013 9:57AM
Not in the red, thank god it's Friday, bring on the weekend, maybe everyone will calm the F down.
Also did I read that right, gold dropping 5%???
So MSN writers, how are those gold funds you keep recommending doing?
Jun 21, 2013 11:25AM
Jun 21, 2013 10:11AM

Hey Jim,

Is there ever a time to sell??   I remember some years back, you forgot to sell and you got stung big time!!   So now it's time sit back and watch?

Jun 21, 2013 1:31PM
(Cramer) "It's time to bla bla bla... "

It's always a good time to ignore the pundits!

Jun 21, 2013 10:29AM
Wow, we see the market up in the 90s at the opening; stop.....Do not fall for this bs...Manipulators still in control and the selling should start shortly...Be cautious, do not trust these scumbags as far as we can see them....Selling already started....Be careful...More later.
Jun 21, 2013 12:36PM
This negative stock market reaction is likely to cause some slowdown in the recovery (unemployment and inflation), postponing QE tapering and providing a good excuse for the bulls to regroup.
Jun 21, 2013 11:24AM


Maybe interest rates are headed up.  A new CD showed up for purchase on Schwab last night.  Wells Fargo Bank.  3.5% per year.  I haven't see CDs that high in a long time.



Jun 21, 2013 10:23AM
It is like this...  We have QE I, II, III supporting the market, when it stops this will bring on wave after wave of selling.  I am guess the market will settle in around the 11,500 level.

Japan should be studied for the effects of decades of QE and stimulus, and government overspending.  There market is at about one third of their all time high...

There is not reason to think we will not shrink the same.

Why the musical chair music stops, make sure you have a place to sit...  
Jun 21, 2013 1:17PM
Ok methinks I will sell my QID calls today and maybe buy some gold etf calls on monday .....

Driving to Vegas for a long weekend ....... trying Planet Hollywood this time to see what happened to the old Aladdin !!

Happy trading all ....except for Monica .....try not to kill any gerbils this weekend phat *ss !!
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