Cramer on the sell-off: ‘It’s extremely arduous to purchase quite a lot of shares once you see these’ case numbers

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday that a lack of coronavirus stimulus is making it difficult for investors to buy stocks as the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States worsens.

“It’s very hard to buy a lot of stocks when you see these numbers,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box,” as U.S. equities were headed to steep declines Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 500 points, or 1.8%, shortly after the open.

“And it’s a shame too because with stimulus, we’d be very tempted to own some of these stocks,” added Cramer. “But right now, I think everyone is just fearful.”

The U.S. has a seven-day average of 71,832 new coronavirus cases, which is a record high, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations also have been rising in more 30 states in recent days.

Stocks also were falling Wednesday in Europe, as multiple nations there experienced increasing coronavirus cases and leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for tougher business restrictions to try slowing the spread. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was sliding more than 2.5%.

U.S. investors were surely monitoring the situation in Europe, Cramer said, likely influencing the negative sentiment for Wall Street. The “Mad Money” host worried, however, about the implications of more strict public health measures in America without more fiscal support from Washington, where Democrats and the Trump administration have been locked in a stalemate on stimulus negotiations for months.

“The lockdowns without the stimulus equals what we’re seeing, and I think it’s a shame because had there been stimulus, we would then be focusing on earnings and the earnings are actually pretty darn good,” he said.

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