Who's mixed? Who is trying to bottom? There are stocks in individual cohorts that are making a stand, I just don't know if the stand can be maintained.
For example, Celgene (CELG) - Get Free Report , Biogen (BIIB) - Get Free Report , Regeneron (REGN) - Get Free Report and Gilead (GILD) - Get Free Report are all trying to stop going down. That's not much of an endorsement, but the rest of the sector is in such bear-market mode that perhaps the nascent rallies in these can be the beginning of something bigger?
Same thing with oil service companies like Halliburton (HAL) - Get Free Report , Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Free Report , Weatherford (WFT) - Get Free Report and Transocean (RIG) - Get Free Report . These are least likely to succeed names, as well as EOG (EOG) - Get Free Report and Occidental (OXY) - Get Free Report , two well-capitalized oils. These are in the exact same boat at biotech. These stocks have been through the mill and are still standing. But I don't know if they can have any staying power given that the vast majority of oils, especially the master limited partnerships and natural gas stocks seem to be in the grips of the bear in a major way. Maybe these are just the ones that portfolio managers hang on to in order to have some exposure to the sector? Seems like a reasonable assumption.
We have plenty of semiconductor-related plays that are trying to stabilize, from Qorvo (QRVO) - Get Free Report and Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Free Report to Lam (LRCX) - Get Free Report and Microchip (MCHP) - Get Free Report and Avnet (AVT) - Get Free Report and Avago (AVGO) - Get Free Report . I think they can be led into the bull promised land by the likes of Intel (INTC) - Get Free Report , but I don't want to get too excited as I would rather just own Intel. Lam does stand out as a potential winner.
You know what looks to be turning? Entertainment post media-geddon when Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report dropped the bomb about cable. I can see Time Warner (TWX) , CBS (CBS) - Get Free Report , Fox (FOX) - Get Free Report , Dish (DISH) - Get Free Report , as well as Disney, stabilizing and working their way up.
Two that are about to come back to the high list: Snap-on (SNP) - Get Free Report and Kroger (KR) - Get Free Report are worth mentioning. I don't know if Wynn (WYNN) - Get Free Report can turn, but Las Vegas Sands (LVS) - Get Free Report is turning right in front of us, although I don't like to pick out one stock in a group that is faltering and tell you to buy it.
Abbott (ABT) - Get Free Report , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Free Report and Bristol-Myers (BMY) - Get Free Report all look like candidates for stabilization, but there's no need to rush. Better to have more info.
And then there's what's bad and what's bad is really bad.
I think retail's just disastrous and we can't be sure where and when the bear is going to maul next. September was just plain bad, although only Skechers (SKX) - Get Free Report was kind enough to admit it. Many seem to think that the issue is Amazon, but that's just not possible as there's been no new step function in Amazon to justify destroying so many retailers. Others think it is payroll issues and the flailing of Walmart (WMT) - Get Free Report . OK, I get that. Whatever, there is inventory sloshing around everywhere and Kohls (KSS) - Get Free Report , Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Free Report and Macy's (M) - Get Free Report seem particularly roiled, although you have to wonder how much more they can drop. I think that Target (TGT) - Get Free Report holds the key and I don't know if it is strong enough to withstand the Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) - Get Free Report blasting.
Dick's (DKS) - Get Free Report , Urban (URBN) - Get Free Report and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) - Get Free Report are worth particular wariness. Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Free Report , VF (VFC) - Get Free Report , PVH (PVH) - Get Free Report , Kors (KORS) , Hanes (HBI) - Get Free Report and Fossil (FOSL) - Get Free Report seem to have still more downside. I think that investors believe that Walmart is just going to obliterate the dollar stores.
Gap (GPS) - Get Free Report ? Wow, it won't stop. Only L Brands (LB) - Get Free Report seems immune, with Restoration Hardware (RH) - Get Free Report not far behind. I am even concerned about Ulta (ULTA) - Get Free Report . That's how bad the opprobrium is for this group. Can I throw in Tiffany (TIF) - Get Free Report , Polaris (PII) - Get Free Report and Harley (HOG) - Get Free Report for high end discretionary pain? Restaurants, save McDonald's, all seem hideous even as raw costs are coming down. That's labor costs speaking, if you ask me.
The healthcare bear is romping. The hospitals seem like they are just beginning to roll over, which his extraordinary given how much they have fallen already. Every single junior biotech has no support. The roll-ups, from Valeant (VRX) to Mallinckrodt (MNK) - Get Free Report to even my beloved Allergan (AGN) - Get Free Report isn't done going down. McKesson (MCK) - Get Free Report and Amerisource (ABC) - Get Free Report , two of the most-loved stocks for a decade seem like out-and-out shorts, but they report this week so let's see what can happen.
You can't get near health care yet. Even stocks like United Health UNH that are winners if the hospitals are losers. I know that there are those who want to stick with this group no matter what. For example, I am partial to Lilly (LLY) - Get Free Report and Allergan here. But I am not going to fool myself. The political headwinds and the blow-ups are too much to handle for the vast majority of you out there.
Oil and gas? No bottom to speak of.
I want to hear what Chevron (CVX) - Get Free Report has to say this week. Same with Occidental (OXY) - Get Free Report with a much better chart. The oils are all bad, but the natural gas stocks are even worse. We have such a glut of the stuff that I can't tell you if there is even a chance for some of these companies to survive. A recent find by EQT (EQT) - Get Free Report in Pennsylvania's deep dry Utica shale may be the biggest in United States history and it is radically low in cost. It will make all natural gas outside of the Utica too expensive and with national pipelines coming -- total disasters there even as I like them -- I see years and years of pain in the sector. All natural gas companies seem like outrageous shorts to me.
Finally there are the China-related plays, like Joy (JOY) or Terex (TEX) - Get Free Report or Cummins (CMI) - Get Free Report or U.S. Steel (X) - Get Free Report , companies that have either bet the farm on China's re-accelerating industrial economy or are being dumped on by China. No respite for the weary in Timken (TKR) - Get Free Report or Manitowoc (MTW) - Get Free Report to name two poster boys.
There are still plenty of outliers that I can't game. Apple's (AAPL) - Get Free Report Tuesday's business and the chart says it could go either way. Same with Netflix (NFLX) - Get Free Report for that matter. I don't know if IBM (IBM) - Get Free Report is really stabilizing. Maybe it doesn't even matter. The cybersecurity space is hot as a pistol, but the stocks are cold as ice. And then there are some big-caps that just plain scare me: American Express (AXP) - Get Free Report being the boldest of examples.
But the battlegrounds are stark. We know that groups can snap back (the international industrials post-General Electric being emblematic). We know that the rolling bear does let up as it did for so many technology plays. We know that when the bears hit bottom though there I no immediate snap-back. There's time. No need to be a hero. Almost all of the heroes are dead already.
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long AAPL, ALGN, BIIB, EOG OXY and UNH.