Cramer urges investors to find the positives in crushed stocks

CNBC’s Jim Cramer urged investors on Thursday to find the positives in “crushed” stocks, arguing U.S. equities can only go higher after the Christmas Eve washout on Wall Street.

“I can’t succumb to the negativity,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box,” referring to this week’s pullback in the market after this year’s rip-roaring start. “I’m not throwing in the towel, besides the fact that I’m surrounded by towel throwers.”

However, Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” said he would wait for a select few stocks to finish falling before buying them.

Cramer has said previously that investors have failed to realize that the “Powell bear market” ended after Dec. 24, which saw the S&P 500 sink 2.7 percent to the lowest close of 2018.

Since that day, the S&P 500 rallied nearly 18 percent as of Wednesday’s close, with the bulk of that advance coming in 2019. The market, however, was under pressure for the fourth session in row on Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 on Wednesday had their lowest closes since Feb. 14. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all down three straight sessions and on track to post their worst week of 2019.

“Find the positives in the stocks that have been crushed,” Cramer said. “I’m positive coming out of the … ‘Powell bear market.’ We’re starting to get some good numbers.”

Cramer’s characterization of the “Powell bear market” refers to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell‘s October comments, which were later walked back, that sparked interest rate concerns that slammed stocks in the fourth quarter.

One of the big losers on Wall Street on Thursday were shares of Kroger, which were plunging after the supermarket chain reported quarterly earnings and revenue that fell short of expectations.

Cramer said he had a hard time finding the positive in Kroger’s earnings report but added he wouldn’t tell investors to sell or buy. “They’ve got their work cut out for them,” he concluded.

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