Investors need to practice being patient, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. People have been selling stocks for weeks, Cramer added, and if the Federal Reserve changes course, you could be paying up big time.
Betting on the Fed to do the right thing has always been a risky proposition. Back in 2007, Cramer's now famous "they know nothing" rant was just one example of the Fed taking an academic approach to our economy rather than doing their homework and talking to CEOs and money managers to find out what's really going.
Cramer said it's his job to do that homework, and what he's been hearing most is the term "late-stage economic expansion," which is code for "this is about as good as it gets."
That's why Bank of America (bAC) shares fell 2%, despite a great quarter and a stock that trades at just 11 times earnings. That's also why the stocks of Clorox (CLX) , Procter & Gamble (PG) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) continue to post gains as investors flee growth and into safety.
But Cramer asked, what if the Fed raises rates in December and then stops to wait for more data? That scenario is not baked into a market that's been selling off for weeks. If that scenario becomes reality, then now's the time to buy stocks like Cramer's cloud kings, which will be among the first to rebound.
Our market is already oversold, Cramer concluded, and now's not the time to be selling.
Cramer and the AAP team are digging into the September retail sales report. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Cramer's Power Rankings: Energy
In an installment of his "Power Rankings" segment, Cramer dove into the energy sector to see which stocks are worth buying now that crude oil is up 18% for the year, as supply continues to fall behind growing demand.
Coming in at No. 1 was Marathon Petroleum (MPC) , now the nation's largest oil refiner. The refining business has been on fire, Cramer said, but this stock still trades at just 10 times earnings.
Second on the list was ConocoPhillips (COP) , a pure play on exploration and production. Conoco can produce oil for as little as $35 a barrel, which is terrific in a $70-a-barrel world. Cramer said he'd buy this one right now.
Third was our nation's second largest refiner, Valero (VLO) . Cramer said the refining business is good for everyone and this stock also trades at just 10 times earnings.
Rounding out the list at numbers four and five were EOG Resources (EOG) and Anadarko Petroleum (APC) . Cramer said EOG is a fracking pioneer, while Anadarko is another stellar operator that must be bought.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks about the stocks dealing with the triple whammy of higher labor costs, higher steel costs from tariffs and higher interest rates. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Yum Sounds Good
Investors are getting a rare pullback in shares of Yum Brands (YUM) , and Cramer said the time to buy is now.
Readers may remember that Yum previously spun off its China operations, and it was that division that was supposed to provide the growth. But with a lackluster start and now a trade war with China, Yum China (YUMC) has been a laggard.
The domestic side of Yum, however, has been a different story. While the company posted an overall 5% decline in revenues, gross margins were up, helping the company post an eight-cents-a-share earnings beat with 20% earnings per share growth. With the company rapidly selling off company-owned locations and moving to an all-franchise model, Cramer said Yum Brands should continue to hit it out of the park.
But Yum has a second way to win, and that's a $2.3 billion share buyback program that represents 8% of the current shares outstanding. Cramer said this buyback is huge and will positively impact earnings per share going forward. Shares hit a new 52-week high just before the market meltdown, making the recent weakness a real gift for investors.
Off the Tape
In his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with Adam Bierman, co-founder and CEO of the privately-held MedMen Enterprises, operators of 19 medical marijuana facilities across the country. MedMen recently announced the acquisition of PharmaCann for $685 million.
Bierman said that PharmaCann will greatly expand MedMen's footprint to 66 stores in 12 states with 13 production facilities. He said the best markets are still California, Nevada and New York and MedMen currently represents about 6% of all sales in California.
Bierman noted that MedMen is helping to build a business, an industry and an asset class that will be investable for everyday investors. Progress takes times, he added, which is why they're not focused on short-term wins, like Canada's pending legalization of recreational marijuana later this week.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said while he's been critical of the Federal Reserve recently, he does admit they're in a tough spot. Case in point: Wabash National (WNC) , makers of delivery trucks that are at the heart of the Internet economy.
Shares of Wabash were off the charts last year and going into January of this year as the demand for trucks soared. But then came steel tariffs and a tighter labor market that's forced the company to pay a lot more overtime.
The Fed, of course, sees overtime as wage inflation, Cramer said, but while that's true, the Fed can't loosen tariffs nor create more workers to solve the problem. All they can do is raise interest rates until Wabash's trucks become too expensive and no one buys them, while ultimately leads to layoffs.
Cramer said in his view, some wage inflation is simply the consequence of full employment and something the Fed should welcome. Let Wabash and its factory workers have a great year, he said.
Cramer was bearish on United Technologies (UTX) .
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