Jim Cramer -- We Want an 'Almost Red-Hot' Jobs Number
Economists expect 180,000 jobs to be added to the economy when the non-farm payrolls report for the month of August is released on Friday morning.
"We want 'almost red-hot,'" TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
So why should the investment community want high employment? Simply put, September is "definitely live" when it comes to a potential rate hike, Cramer said, adding he believes the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates and then go on hold.
It should be a one-and-done for now, he said. If the labor report is strong, it will show investors that the current economy can handle a small rate hike. If the report is mediocre and the Fed goes through with a September rate hike, that's when investors will doubt the current economy being able to handle it.
Expectations are part of the problem. Right now, not everyone is buying into the possibility of a September rate hike. Because of that, September could be a "dicey" month, Cramer explained.
The rest of the world looks OK, too. U.S. stocks are near their highs, Chinese and British PMI readings were strong, and the auto and housing markets in the U.S. are doing well. He acknowledged that retail has been mixed, but said the economy can still handle a rate hike despite that.
Cramer said he likes the bank stocks, particularly Citigroup