Cramer says it’s too early to buy aggressively after rough 2022 start

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday he believes the stock market has yet to reach a true “investable bottom,” as Wall Street gets off to a choppy 2022.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t pick selectively at stocks on the way down,” the “Mad Money” host said. “We’re going to start doing that for the charitable trust if we see any buys. We haven’t yet. It’s too early to be aggressive.”

Cramer said his call Thursday stems from analyzing a 10-item checklist that he’s developed over his roughly 40-year Wall Street career. It contains various events and sentiment indicators that he needs to spot before he’s ready to declare an investable bottom.

“Based on my checklist, it’s just too soon to talk about what’s worth buying into weakness. I think we need to experience more pain before we get the big bottom we’re all waiting for,” Cramer said.

For example, Cramer said he’s yet to see “a level of negativity that makes you sick to your stomach,” which can mean a sentiment reversal is in order. Technology stocks also are about the only part of the market that’s “truly beaten down,” Cramer said. Other areas, he contended, are actually overbought.

In Cramer’s opinion, another sign that the broader market hasn’t reached a trough is that Wall Street analysts have yet to downgrade a slew of stocks. “You have to see more despair from the analysts before we get a truly sustainable bottom. We aren’t there yet, they’re still trying to play catch-up with the sell-off,” Cramer said.

Cramer also said stocks haven’t fallen far enough to drive a new wave of money into the market. The S&P 500 is down 1.5% through the first four trading sessions of the year, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has fallen 3.6%.

However, he noted the Dow Jones Industrial Average is “barely down at all,” sitting lower by just 0.3% year to date. “You need all of the major averages to be hurting before you get an investable bottom,” Cramer said.

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