Cramer: The 30th Anniversary of Black Monday Behaves as Expected

 | Oct 19, 2017 | 7:20 AM EDT
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Did you really expect the futures to be up on the 30th anniversary of the worst day ever, the 508-point decline from a very low basis, giving you a bigger than 20% loss in one day? You think we could avoid the collision, given that we hit all-time highs in the Dow and the S&P and the Nasdaq? Did you really wonder if someone wouldn't analogize and say a 4600-point decline could be in the offing?

Why not? We have rumors of big order cuts from the supplier of the iPhone 8, putting the hurt to the biggest company on earth's prospects.

We have Unilever (UL) with a not-fully-unexplained weakness off a mixed quarter, with U.S. issues involving weather that presented a slowdown in organic growth, not to mention what looks to be a deceleration of the cloud business for SAP (SAP) in Germany.

Could these be the flipside of the weaker dollar?

Let's throw in geopolitical risk, shall we? Hong Kong, which has been up more than 30% this year took a header over some meanderings by the powerful Chinese central banker -- as if anyone isn't powerful over there -- about risky lending. This is not something you want to hear when the economy is decelerating to 6.8% growth in the PRC and the five-year Party Congress meeting slogs on.

And we are no longer paying homage to Catalonia. The area known as Spain's biggest hub of commerce, producing between 20 and 25% of the country's GDP, is about to run broadside against the Spanish government in its attempts at independence.

Of course, each of these is a shadow of the former self back then where interest rates were at 7% and we had been up so huge going into the crash, even as the week before was one of the worst ever. No matter that our rates are down seven ticks; the trade that's been working relies on higher rates and a weaker dollar, and both have the potential to go the other way which means our bank stock leadership can weaken.

China's downturn hurts the industrial and mineral portions of the bull market, which is a shame because one of the best quarters last night was from United Rentals URI, and while it has a ton of work from the cleanups of Texas and Florida, will anyone distinguish that?

And truth be told, that slowdown in Stubhub (EBAY) , when coupled with the weakness in Action Alerts PLUS charity portfolio holding Apple (AAPL) and SAP, could take the strength out of the cloud business from Adobe (ADBE) , where analysts were looking for a downside surprise and instead got an up one.

Oh, and oil, which has been tame, is threatening to go under $50 on heavy futures selling from cash poor Permian plays.

Put it all together and you could see how a grim picture can be arrived at almost from thin air. I say almost because when we are up this month the gurus will say we are priced for perfection, and the tableau is hardly perfection this morning.

So, there it goes, your hostage-to-30-years ago thinking that makes the day a little more traumatic. And, with the Oval office saying that if we don't get tax reform we could crash, while health care is once again opened up and the president takes aim at the strongest group of all in the market -- no, not the banks on higher rates, but the health insurers on higher rates from the Senate compromise -- it all adds up to finding something to sell so you don't give up big profits.

That's the recipe, with a Blue Apron job cut thrown in, that makes this a tougher day than should be expected, or at least should have been based on trading leading up to this moment now, not three decades ago.


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