From the ongoing European debt crisis to the troubled Chinese stock market, investors shrugged off a number of concerns to help the stock market on Thursday to end the first quarter with the bang, with the S&P 500 logging a record close and the Dow Jones industrial average posted its best Q1 since 1998.
When the second quarter begins Monday, though, CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks stocks will likely face three big headwinds.
Second, Cramer said Slovenia will likely grab headlines as the next euro zone country to seek an international bailout , given the fragile state of its banking sector. Following the Cyprus bailout, Slovenia's dollar bonds have dropped by nine points over the past two weeks as investors worry about the Balkan country's troubled banking sector and the government's ability to tap the international capital markets.
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Third, investors may sell en masse to get ahead of those who practice the market dictum "sell in May and go away," where investors lighten up positions ahead of the summer holiday.
"Just like how it seems that Christmas comes earlier every year, the selling in fear of May, a tough month, comes earlier every year," Cramer complained. "Nobody seems to care that since 1950, April has been the best month of the year, posting an average monthly increase of 1.97 percent.
"Better yet, in the last 20 years April's been up an average of 2.7 percent, but the sell, sell, sell drumbeat will only ratchet up even more because the first quarter was so strong," he said.
To Cramer, it's never a bad idea to take profits. But he thinks it might be a bad idea to blindly "sell in April and go away."
"The stock market's headed into the second quarter with a full head of steam," Cramer said. "Unfortunately, it's headed right into a central bank morass and a ton of stats that I think will show the world's economies are slowing, but the U.S. remains the best place to invest, just as it did in the first quarter of 2013."
- Reuters contributed to this report
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