Jim Cramer says the ‘worst of 3 worlds’ helped lead stocks lower on Thursday

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer outlined three reasons why markets lost a short-lived rally on Thursday.

If the economy were running colder, if the stock market was lower, and if interest rates were higher before sliding, things would be different, Cramer said. “Today we didn’t see that, though. We had the worst of three worlds.”

Here are the three factors:

  1. Hot economic data: Initial weekly jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 17 rose by 2,000 to 216,000, according to the Labor Department. That’s less than the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 220,000.
  2. Weak corporate earnings: CarMax shares fell about 3.7% after the company reported weaker-than-expected profit and revenue in its latest quarter. Micron Technology shares slipped 3.4% after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and miss on revenue after the close on Wednesday.
  3. Bearish comments about the market: David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, told CNBC on Thursday that he’s leaning short on equities because it’s unusual for global central banks, including the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and Bank of England, to tighten at the same time.

Stocks fell on Thursday as Wall Street continues to worry that the Fed’s interest rate hikes could tip the economy into a recession. 

Investors also fear that time is running out for a Santa Claus rally, a phenomenon in which stocks tend to rise near the end of a year into the next year. Cramer reminded investors that charts suggest a market run could be in the works for after Thursday’s trading session.

“While we could still get that seasonal bounce, obviously the market’s gotten tougher to game,” he said.

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