CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday he expects the selling on Wall Street to continue, suggesting investors wait before buying and taking advantage of the pullback in stocks.
“Mindless dip-buying has been a great strategy for the past 15 months, but it's worthless in the face of a serious sell-off, which is what we have now,” the “Mad Money” host said.
“I've been encouraging you to sell ahead of what's usually the weakest time of year. I can't turn positive until I find an actual reason to change my mind. For the moment, we're not getting any,” he added. “So, please, if you want to be a buyer, find a reason to buy. Let the pain of late September unfold before you try to pull the trigger.”
Cramer's comments Monday came after the S&P 500 registered its worst performance since May 12, dropping 1.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 614 points, or 1.8%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 2.2%. At its lows Monday, the blue-chip Dow was down 971 points.
All three major averages are down more than 3% so far in September, which is a historically rough month for stocks as Cramer has warned for weeks.
There are multiple factors weighing on Wall Street beyond just seasonality, Cramer said, pointing to concern about the struggling Chinese property developer Evergrande and Beijing's response to its financial woes. Additional worries for the market include gridlock in Washington on debt-ceiling negotiations, uncertainty about whether U.S. Covid cases are actually peaking and the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting that begins Tuesday.
He also expressed concern about the number of new public listings leading to excess stock supply, as well as what Cramer believes is a calming, at least temporarily, in meme stocks such as GameStop.
“I can't honestly turn bullish on this market until you turn bearish, until we come up with some rationale for why the selling is going to stop. Right now, we simply don't have one,” Cramer said.
“So we sit tight and wait for something that might compel us to buy a stock because we think it'll go higher,” he added. “For the moment, though, we've got nothing to hang our hats on. … If anything, we have a lot of reasons to sell, including tonight's report from Lennar where the great homebuilder actually missed guidance.”
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