Almost every issue the stock market is facing has two sides, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday, except for those that have three, four or even five. With so much uncertainty, having conviction makes you feel like an idiot, Cramer added, which is why the markets are so jittery.
Case in point, Apple (AAPL) , which plunged from $168 to $164 a share after Qualcomm (QCOM) scored a preliminary ban on some iPhones in China. But shortly after lunchtime, the stock suddenly reversed course, closing up $1.11 after several pundits agreed now was the time to buy.
Then there's the ongoing trade war, which appears on-again, off-again almost by the hour, leaving no one with a clear idea if the issue is really trade, or curbing China's geopolitical ambitions.
The Federal Reserve also has many faces. Fed Chair Jay Powell was adamant in October that he needed four interest rate hikes to cool the red-hot economy, but recently walked back those comments to only one hike in December. If Powell decides not to raise rates at all, Cramer said the change in course would cause investors to panic even more, leaving Powell in a lose-lose situation. Either we get a rate hike we don't need or a panic we don't want.
This lack of confidence in just about everything is what's led the wild swings on Wall Street. Until we receive some clarity, we're likely to continue to have a bumpy ride.
Executive Decision: Splunk
In his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Doug Merritt, president and CEO of data analytics provider Splunk (SPLK) , a company that Cramer said continues to be among the strongest of the cloud kings.
Merritt said the mission at Splunk hasn't changed; they continue to focus on the success of their customers. Big data is everywhere, he said, and customers need to analyze it to guide their decisions and stay secure. The key metric to watch is their software revenue growth, Merritt added, and this quarter that rate was 50%.
Splunk counts Carnival (CCL) among its customers, and the cruise line uses the company's software in every aspect of serving guests, both on and off the ship.
Splunk is working on several new technologies, including using voice assistants to verbally ask questions of clients' data and also a next-generation mobile platform for getting answers no matter where customers happen to be.
When asked about the company's growth, Merritt said he's confident there are still plenty of growth opportunities in the areas they currently serve, including application development, IT operations and security. There are many use cases to expand both the breadth and depth of those areas, he noted.
In his "Know Your IPO" segment, Cramer dove into last week's offering of Moderna (MRNA) , an early-stage biotech company that saw its shares plunge 20% by the close on Friday after picking what was arguably one of the worst days of the year for an IPO.
Moderna is developing medical treatments using revolutionary technology called Messenger RNA, which can be used for a variety of ailments from infectious diseases to cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Cramer said Moderna is not the first to have the mRNA idea, but the company does have patented delivery technologies that can get the treatment to the right cells in your body.
As an early stage company, it is hard to value Moderna, Cramer said. The company has no earnings and trades on the belief that its treatments will be successful. To that end, the company has 21 development programs, with 10 currently in clinical trials. Moderna also has $1.8 billion on its balance sheet.
Cramer said Moderna has an exciting concept, it's recession proof and after its initial plunge, shares have gotten considerably cheaper.
Executive Decision: Tech Data
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Rich Hume, CEO of Tech Data (TECD) , the technology supplier that just posted a 38-cent-a-share earnings beat with an 11% rise in revenues and strong guidance. Shares of Tech Data currently trade for just eight times earnings.
Hume said this has been a great year for technology and business is strong all over, including in all three regions of the world they serve and in all technology segments. He said 7% growth is the mid-range of their guidance and they feel comfortable in their ability to achieve it.
Hume continued by stating that their current debt-to-equity ratio is right where they want it to be and his company has cash on hand for additional high-value acquisitions, stock buybacks or additional organic growth as needed. He characterized Tech Data as "humble, but hungry" and Cramer agreed that this is a great non-cloud tech stock that's worth owning.
Cramer was bearish on General Electric (GE) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said these market moves cannot be trusted, in either direction, as stocks are being controlled by index and hedge funds and are trading on very thin volume.
Case in point, FedEx (FDX) , which fell 4.2% Monday after an analyst downgrade spurred on by sudden executive changes at the company. Cramer said FedEx traded on just 200,000 shares. He would have expected over two million based on that kind of news.
Where have all the buyers and sellers gone? And who are these remaining buyers who buy when the market is soaring and sell in the middle of the panic? Cramer said its the index funds and hedge funds that are manipulating the markets, squeezing out the individual investors, and causing stocks to see these irrational price moves.
Cramer once again appealed to the regulators to curb this type of activity and help restore a fair, balanced and yes, rational, stock market for everyone.
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