Gird yourself for more disappointment
Our fate is tied to China's, and the outlook seems bleak right now.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Just presume it will go down. Presume that the companies that report good numbers will get hurt and the companies that report bad numbers will get destroyed -- just like last week. Presume that we are going into a slowdown and that last year's market is over.
If you are surprised the other way, good for you. When you consider what is "working" -- and I have a long piece on what is working coming up later this morning -- you know that you won't risk much by selling into the meager strength you see. Unless copper and gold and oil are up big, the Baltic Freight Index rallies and the dollar gets pummeled, you are just going to have another painful session.
The only things that have changed are that the S&P short-term oscillator is now more than minus-5, which has led to rallies in the last nine months but meant nothing in the two years before that when the average was minus-8 before we bounced, and that there are more bears, both literally from the Institutional Investor survey and figuratively from the uniformly negative writings here.
Sure, individual situations will matter. Citigroup's (C) playing by the Volcker rule, which will make the stock have less trouble than public enemies No. 1, 2 and 3, Goldman (GS), JPMorgan (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS). Apple (AAPL) is oversold. That kind of thing.
But the die's been cast pretty hard here, and the rally that comes, if any, will not be worth buying into as much as it is worth selling into.
Only the gold/dollar/oil/copper/Baltic Freight index can change that and, amazingly, they have amalgamated that into one big index: The Shanghai Composite Index. You can monitor it from there! It's in charge of everything other than the mutual funds that are selling stocks like crazy here because they all seem to be caught in materials stocks, Apple, Qualcomm (QCOM) and Goldman Sachs.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm.
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