On the one-year anniversary Tuesday of the S&P 500's one-day 12% crash, CNBC's Jim Cramer said that "betting on the end of the world is a sucker's game."
What Happened: The S&P 500 index suffered its single worst trading session in decades on March 16, 2020, and the Nasdaq's 12.3% decline marked its largest percentage loss in history.
Panic selling kicked into high gear during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic — a mistake many investors would like to take back.
"The next time you think the world is ending, you have to assume that it isn't," Cramer said Tuesday on his "Mad Money" show. "I want you to take the other side of the trade."
The S&P 500 index was down as much as 34% at its worst levels on March 23. But the market swiftly rebounded, and five months later it had returned back to its prior highs.
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Why It's Important: Lawmakers and government officials in Washington, D.C. deserve credit for supporting businesses at a time when millions of people were losing their jobs, Cramer said.
The scientific community also deserves credit for working "their magic" to help ease the health crisis.
What's Next: The encouraging progress in 2021 gives hope that there is "light at the end of the tunnel," Cramer said.
Perhaps more important, the light is a "genuine sun, not that of an oncoming train."