Business

Jim Cramer says tap the brakes on comparing this year’s market to 2001 and 2008. Here is why

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday he’s not taking seriously any comparisons drawn between the current stock market and the years 2001 and 2008, both of which saw steep sell-offs into year-end.

The “Mad Money” host acknowledged the S&P 500 has so far in 2022 followed a path that looks similar to its trajectory in 2001 and 2008. For example, it’s down roughly 13% year to date after mounting a comeback since mid-June, when it recorded its much-steeper lows of the year.

  • In 2008, the S&P 500 was down about 12% at this point and, in 2001, the broad U.S. stock index was lower by nearly 12%, Cramer said. In both years, the S&P 500 had bounced off earlier lows to get to where it was in late August.

However, Cramer said it’s incredibly important to go beneath the chart-level surface before concluding the stock market will end 2022 on a sour note. Not only is the U.S. economy at a much different part of the business cycle than in 2001 and 2008, but Cramer said “major destabilizing events” were primary drivers of the end-of-the-year slides.

“I just don’t see a parallel in this year. 2008, it was the reverberations from the Lehman Brothers collapse nearly bringing down the financial system. In 2001, of course, it was 9/11,” Cramer said.

Cramer said there is always a possibility of a so-called black swan event, noting there is inherent uncertainty about what lies ahead. “If something terrible happens on the scale of the Lehman Brothers collapse … then I would indeed change my mind,” he said.

However, he added, “here’s the bottom line: Unless something terrible comes out of nowhere, I’m feeling pretty sanguine about this market, because 2022 is not 2008 and not 2001.”

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