Buybacks should calm fears of a major market decline

Buybacks should calm fears of a major market decline

The worst intra-day market reversal in nearly a year might’ve spooked investors, but CNBC’s Jim Cramer argued that the market still has a major driver in its metaphorical back pocket.

“I’m talking about the ongoing stock shortage,” the “Mad Money” host said. “The shortage is so real, so palpable, that I think it could become a major theme as earnings season progresses.”

Why? Cramer pointed to the trend of share repurchases, or stock buybacks, emerging among major companies like J.P. Morgan and Citigroup.

As they buy back millions, if not billions, of their shares, their supply of stock grows tighter — hence the shortage — and their shareholders usually benefit.

“The only way to offset the stock shortage? Well, we’d need to see some gigantic IPOs for companies like Airbnb or Uber or Spotify, or something like that trillion-dollar Saudi Aramco deal that will definitely sop up some cash,” Cramer said. “Still, even if we get a wave of new deals here in America, it will be a drop in the bucket compared to the pace of these buybacks. The stock shortage, it’s the greatest story never told.”

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