May be time to buy homebuilders on a strong jobs report

CNBC’s Jim Cramer knows that Friday’s nonfarm payroll report will undoubtedly affect markets: the stronger the report, the more worry investors will have about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly.

And while higher rates are a boon for the banks, they’re a problem for many other businesses, particularly housing.

“In fact, I believe a really strong employment number would be met with a massive amount of selling in the stocks of the homebuilders, as they’re the most rate-sensitive group,” the “Mad Money” host said on Thursday.

But Cramer wasn’t so sure that selling stocks of homebuilders like Lennar was the best course of action for investors. Most of the homebuilders are U.S.-based, meaning they benefited from the tax cuts, are shielded from tariffs and could be helped by rising wages and higher labor participation, a largely overlooked data point in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report.

“This time, we shouldn’t rush to sell the homebuilders or housing-related retailers” even if the 10-year Treasury yield starts surging to 3 percent, Cramer said.

“Maybe instead we should be buying these stocks, and that’s a huge and welcome change,” he continued. “If we see a large pickup in the participation rate and Lennar and the other homebuilders get hit anyway, these all-domestic stocks may be exactly the right names to buy in this new environment that’s so much more hostile to international trade.”

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