This Jim Cramer commentary originally appeared at 6:35 a.m. ET on RealMoney.
The market mocks us daily. With Europe coming down, with oil coming down, we want the futures to come down with it. After Tuesday's brutal session when a ton of money went to work and then disappeared in the ether we don't need to be skunked again.
So what do the futures know? That the last half hour was "phony" as I have been saying? That Europe is simply catching up to our downside and we can ignore it? That we had enough good in banking and tech Tuesday that we can override the weakness in
? That the euro seems to have a hard time going through 122, perhaps because of central bank buying? That China didn't go down or that the Aussie mining tax is going to be less onerous?
You add these up and I think you get nothing, nothing that is worth keeping stocks for. Remember, we need to see a number of things happen for a solid move up.
- 1. The fine print for financial regulation. We don't want someone sneaking in and putting an excise tax on some element of banking that is horrific or a freeze on activities meant to hurt JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report, Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Morgan Stanley (MS) Report, Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Report and no one else.
- 2. Spanish banks stabilizing. These are the canaries in the coal mines and they need TARP and they need to cut their dividends. Unlike the National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Allied Irish (AIB) , the Spanish banks of Santander and Banco Bilbao are huge and important worldwide and they have a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc Sponsored ADR Report/Citigroup> (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report feel to them. Just remember how badly the world acted when those two were in trouble. These are not tip of the iceberg names. They are iceberg names.
- 3. Unemployment going down. Let's be obvious about this. A bad Friday number is going to put lots of pressure on President Obama to do something to create jobs, but if they haven't created jobs yet they aren't going to. So there will be the usual recriminations about the banks and how they are the culprits so that group will be kicked in the butt again. At least it is getting predictable. Just blame private industry. It is the opposite of the previous regime in every way.
- 4. The oil spill has to be stopped. As long as the ecological disaster lasts, 12% percent of the S&P 500 is going to get hammered as the market can't and won't distinguish among the players and the exchange-traded funds are so powerful they take down everything even though no one except yours truly actually believes that. Maybe that's because I was a trader and I know their power and I wouldn't want to squawk about them because they might be taken away if too many insiders tell the tale.
- 5. China has to declare that it is engineering a soft landing in which industrial output remains high but real estate speculation is halting. That eliminates the bubble talk and makes the doomsayers sound silly, and they don't right now. They sound honest.
- 6. The euro holds this level and the bank spreads among countries in Europe stabilize. That means no more downgrades of major countries. That relief can only happen when the major powers say that they will not let governments or large banks fail right now and they will not kick out any countries from the euro. Alternately, if they come up with a policy which cuts some countries adrift to create their own currency and leave the strong ones to the euro that, too, will count as a resolution. I think the latter is going to happen which is why the German market is unchanged for the year, while every other country in the world of import is down and many in Europe are down double digits. Germany benefits from a weak euro for export so it is natural that their export-driven economy is going to do well but the strength in the bourse is also a reflection that Germany will not be pulled down by the sick men of Europe.
You fulfill all of these criteria than we can start buying tech with impunity (
, etc.), we can cash in on the retailers that are working,
, for example, we can buy industrials that have come down a great deal and we, of course, can be more aggressive on the accidental high-yielders. Until then, when we see openings that are up they are selling opportunities, guilty until proven innocent.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, BP, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase
Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio,
. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.
Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.
Mr. Cramer is the author of "
," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.