Wall Street often worries about headwinds, detrimental trends that could weigh on the market and eventually stall its march higher. But as stocks rose on Tuesday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer focused on the positives.
“One is cyclical, meaning it’s ephemeral, and one is secular, meaning it’s going to go on for a long time,” he continued. “These are hard to see, but I think they’re responsible for much of the market’s levitation.”
The first tailwind Cramer sees is “the cyclical boom in hiring,” as demonstrated by the higher-than-expected employment growth the Labor Department reported in early September.
The September report also showed wage growth hitting a post-recession high, a sign of economic recovery bolstered by Tuesday’s news that Amazon would raise the minimum wage to $15 for some 350,000 of its employees.
“When jobs get created, more people can afford to put money away, so they save,” Cramer said. “And they save, in part, by investing in the stock market. As long as employment continues to grow, this process will keep playing out and it’s hugely positive for stocks.”
The second tailwind was less obvious. In the last year or so, Cramer has noticed a widespread “stock shortage” coming about as a result of “endless mergers and acquisitions, not to mention a torrent of corporate buybacks,” he said.
Deal activity has also been notable this year, hitting a seventeen-year-record high in the first quarter and staying top of mind for investors with the wrap-up of the Disney-Comcast-Fox saga and CVS’ high-profile merger with Aetna.
“This may be the most important theme that you never hear about unless you watch this show,” Cramer said. “There’s literally not enough stock to go around. The stock market is a market first and foremost. You tighten up supply, prices are indeed going to go higher.”
And while these trends are subject to change — especially if a cyclical tailwind ends its cycle and becomes a headwind — they are in full force for the near term, the “Mad Money” host said.
“I hate to say this, but in this market, you cannot afford to take your cue from Bob Dylan, because you do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows ,” he joked, referencing the legendary musician’s song, “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
“You certainly need more than a weatherman to pick stocks, but it sure helps to know which way the wind blows before you pull the trigger.”