Cramer says ‘I don’t trust this market’ yet, given Russia-Ukraine, Fed rate hike uncertainties

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday the stock market may have “another couple days of this uncertainty,” until it becomes clear whether Russia will invade Ukraine or will stop with recognizing the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk, two breakaway regions there.

“The market needs to get a little more oversold, because it’s not just Russia, it’s the Fed. So we just got to tread carefully,” the “Mad Money” host said.

“I don’t trust this market because every time that we think something good is going to happen, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin pulls the rug out from under us. I don’t know why this time will be different,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box,” ahead of Tuesday’s open on Wall Street.

As Cramer was speaking, US stock futures were way off overnight lows as world leaders started to apply more pressure on Putin economically to halt his aggressions toward Ukraine.

  • The UK on Tuesday announced targeted sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals.
  • On Tuesday, one day after a rare UN Security Council emergency meeting, the US expects to announce more sanctions targeting Russia.
  • Germany said Tuesday it will halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to bring natural gas from Russia directly to Europe.

Cramer said he thinks Putin will do what he wants to do and won’t be swayed by punitive economic actions: “I think they’re bee stings.”

Stocks fell Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding about 300 points shortly after the open, a bit weaker than futures were indicating late in the morning.

Given that backdrop, Cramer wasn’t prepared yet to give the all-clear on the market. “It’s foggy,” he said of the Russia crisis and how aggressive the Federal Reserve might be in fighting inflation.

The market expects seven Fed interest rate increases this year, starting in March.

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