NewsCramer says inflation data is driving market action, even during a major...

Cramer says inflation data is driving market action, even during a major earnings week

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday that investors need weaker figures from Friday’s labor report if they want stocks to rally, adding that inflation data is what is truly driving market action.

“We often get ‘bad news is good news’ moments at this point in the business cycle, but it’s rarely as excessive as it’s been lately,” he said. “I wish the market didn’t work this way, but that’s the reality, and it’s why you need to bet against the U.S. economy tomorrow if you’re hoping for higher stock prices.”

Cramer bemoaned Wall Street’s fixation with the Federal Reserve’s next decision about interest rates. Investors are hoping for a rate cut, but the Fed has indicated that inflation is too high and the economy remains too strong to issue one just yet.

Cramer said he hates having to root against the economy, but investors are so focused on what “big picture data” might signal to the Fed that information such as the April jobs report controls market action — even during an influential earnings week.

This dynamic frustrates Cramer because it makes him feel like “companies have no control over their own destiny.” He also said the focus on the federal funds rate makes the stock market a “plaything” for those who want to bet on the Fed’s next move.

“We all know that every single point gained today can be wiped out by the wrong employment number tomorrow, and right now, wrong means stronger than expected,” Cramer said. “It’s absurd — it’s the opposite of a stock picker’s market.”

Jim Cramer’s Guide to Investing  » …

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