Jim Cramer says don’t be complacent ahead of Fed meeting


CNBC’s Jim Cramer told investors on Friday to be wary of the week ahead, even though the market’s been fairly calm amid expectations the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday meeting won’t conclude with a rate hike.

“No surprise to regular viewers, I do not trust a benign market like this one,” Cramer said. “Too many things can surprise you, too many things can make you panic, and of course can make you sell, because if you came in at these levels — you started buying today, say — you likely won’t have much conviction if the market takes a sudden swoon.”

On Monday, Cramer will be watching out for software company Oracle‘s earnings report, which is expected after market’s close. He suggests buying some of the stock before but waiting to see if it comes down after the report and buying more if it does.

Home Depot will have an analysts’ meeting on Tuesday, and Cramer thinks it will be important because the company is currently in its “Christmas season” due to the prevalence of gardening in the spring and summer.

“I think we’ll hear that do-it-yourselfers are increasingly buying things, that’s a change, and fixing up their own homes, which they haven’t been able to or willing to sell — why?” Cramer asked. “Because they don’t want to lose those low mortgages they got over the last five years.”

Wednesday will bring news from the central bank, and Cramer isn’t convinced Chair Jerome Powell has completely lost his hawkish streak. Florida-based homebuilder Lennar will have its conference call that day as well, and Cramer expects to hear about a “witch’s brew” of inflation, with upped costs of labor, houses and materials.

Thursday will be all about retail, with investors hearing from supermarket chain Kroger, which is trying to merge with Albertsons against the wishes of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan.

Then on Friday, investors will be able to see more clearly into the minds of consumers, Cramer said, with the release of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.

“Please don’t be lulled into complacency like so many people are now that we’ve gotten all the way back — there’s still a lot of things that could go wrong in the market, many more than I thought, and certainly a lot more than when we were much lower,” Cramer said.

“I’d be very surprised if Wall Street’s thrilled with next Wednesday’s Fed meeting. So prepare yourself, even as I’d love to be wrong on this,” he added.

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