There has been a number of catalysts that have pushed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) - Get Report more than 5.5% off its mid-month lows. Some of those catalysts include the Fed, China, commodities (namely oil), and the U.S. dollar.
However, according to TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, there are other forces at play too: Peaks.
Not just cyclical peaks, but sentiment peaks. Starting with the first, Cramer says too many investors are pricing in peak business in several main industries, including cell phones, automotive, homebuilding and aerospace.
Cramer acknowledged that the housing market doesn't look great and that aerospace is "tough," despite Boeing (BA) - Get Report and Honeywell (HON) - Get Report recently reiterated their long-term bull case on the industry.
But the others are actually not too bad. Recent comments fromFord (F) - Get Report CEO Mark Fields made Cramer feel more "sanguine" about the auto market as lower gasoline prices are pushing consumers to buy more profitable vehicles from automakers. More importantly, it's leading to higher sales of light duty trucks, Cramer added.
As for cell phones, it appears the market has "simply paused," he said. This conclusion was reached after Cramer spoke with Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon (VZ) - Get Report , and John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report .
"I'm wiling to check a box that says, 'we are not in the high peaks region,'" Cramer said.
As for sentiment, the "extreme" flight to high-quality assets in mid-February was likely close to a peak, hitting a level of negatively that was "off the charts," he explained.
It takes that kind of negativity -- when nothing can seemingly go right -- to be in the picture in order for stocks to actually move higher. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, negative sentiment, when pushed to an extreme, is actually good longer term.
The recent action reminded Cramer of 2011, when volatility was rampant and all hope seemed to be lost -- until it wasn't. A peak in negativity -- not the business cycle -- is helping push stocks higher.
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a long position in AAPL.