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Stocks, Bond Yields Slide on Worries Around Global Economy. What Cramer and Other Market Analysts Are Watching

U.S. stocks hit a wall Thursday as concerns around the global economic recovery resurfaced.

One driver behind the Dow's more than 300-point sell-off may have been Japan's announcement that it would bar spectators from the Olympic Games in Tokyo amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Market analysts, including CNBC's Jim Cramer, were split on where markets go next.

Here's what three of them said Thursday:

Cramer, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," expressed concern about the spread of the delta variant, now the dominant strain of coronavirus in the United States:

"When the government said no spectators, the market took a hit like you wouldn't believe. And that's delta for us. Because people recognize that this thing's coming ... and we have whole states that are anti-vax."

Gabriela Santos, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, expected the market to find its footing in the intermediate term:

"I think we have some very unique dynamics happening for certain assets, and then even where there is a broader macro story, it's not really about variants or lockdowns. It's much more about what a normalized economy and earnings look like and whether we're paying the right price for that. I think in terms of Treasury yields especially — I would put it in the first bucket — this is very much a distorted market. We're in a particular time period here where the Fed is buying 100% of net Treasury issuance. That's something we had not even seen during [quantitative easing] over the last decade. And it's the kind of environment that investors were caught by surprise at from the initial falling yields and are now scrambling to short cover. ... I think the trajectory for the market over the next six months, 12 months, 18 months is higher. It's a slow grind higher. And what gets you higher is the revision upwards of earnings expectations. That we very much still expect to continue even in a normalized economy. It's just that your return won't keep up with earnings because you will have that multiple contraction."

Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz and chairman of Gramercy Funds, found it difficult to tie the day's moves to a fundamental catalyst:

"It is technical, and it's too early to extrapolate it too much. So, this is mainly technical, not fundamental-driven. But I wouldn't go as far as saying, 'That's it. It's the end of the stimulus story. It's the end of the liquidity wave,' not just quite yet. Undoubtedly there has been some weakening in growth indicators out of the U.S. and China. Undoubtedly the surprise index has turned negative, but nothing to justify the extent of the move we've had, let alone the levels. Is it policy? Well, it could be the [European Central Bank], but that's pretty small, and it's certainly not inflation. If anything, inflation is headed the other way. So, I find it very hard to explain this move based on fundamentals."

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