Data on U.S. manufacturing growth and President Donald Trump’s tweet about speaking with the Chinese president paved the way for stocks to continue climbingin Thursday’s trading session, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said.
Between a report that showed “a real slowdown” in manufacturing growth in October — a sign that could lead the Federal Reserve to pause its interest rate hikes — and “a thaw” in U.S.-China relations, much of the stock market managed to mount a recovery from its October lows, Cramer said.
“I’ve been saying that we need to see the Fed or the president blink in their respective battles against inflation and China. Neither one blinked today, but … we got a glimpse of how things could go right and it sent stocks flying,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Cramer found the manufacturing report from The Institute for Supply Management especially interesting. The Manufacturing Index, which tracks national factory activity, was at its lowest level since April. New orders, production and the employment index all fell since last month.
“Now, I’m not saying they need to stop tightening immediately,” he said. “I am absolutely fine with another rate hike next month because I want to ensure that the economy won’t overheat, just like the Fed. After all, the ISM purchases index, which measures prices for raw materials, jumped from 66 to 71. That’s too hot.”
But with wood, metal and oil prices declining, Cramer suspected companies would find a way to offset price increases with lower fuel costs to save U.S. consumers from tariff-related pain.
“I think those lower [commodity] prices will work their way through the system in a positive way, which means the inflation problem will solve itself,” he said. “Remember, weaker data gives Fed Chair Jerome Powell some wiggle room to pause his plans for three more rate hikes next year, rate hikes that I think could really hurt the economy if the data continues to show deceleration.”
Paired with Trump’s tweet, which sent stocks of companies that build their products in China higher, it was the “one-two punch” the stock market needed coming out of October, the “Mad Money” host said.
“If the Fed or the president blink for real, … we could have more upside,” he said. “But after this remarkable run indeed, let’s not get too greedy.”
Stocks ended the trading session mostly higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average capping off a more than 900-point gain over the last three days. The S&P 500 rose by 1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.7 percent.