Even after a brutal reversal, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday that he still likes this market. There are, however, some rules for dealing with the beast that must be followed.
Cramer's first rule of engagement for this stock market is the often repeated mantra: no one ever got hurt taking a profit. Your gains are not real until you sell, and you'd be foolish not to take at least some profits where you have them.
Second, prepare yourself for an exogenous event. Cramer said he expects the U.S. government to declare our steel industry vital to our national security, therefore blocking cheap Chinese steel imports. Such a move will have repercussions and investors need to be ready.
Third, always remember that pigs get slaughtered. Bulls make money, bears make money, Cramer is fond of saying. This market will not reward those who are needlessly greedy.
Fourth, check your emotions at the door. Stocks are just pieces of paper, or in modern times, just pixels on your computer screens. Don't fall in love with them, don't get attached to them. This is business, not a game.
Finally, Cramer said to always remember to stay diversified. You can never afford to be concentrated in a single sector or industry.
There were plenty of great industry conferences last week, but none were as important to stocks as the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report Healthcare Conference, where the difference between the winners and losers was enormous.
Among the biggest winners were Atara Biotherapeutics (ATRA) - Get Report , up 52% for the year, and Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) - Get Report , which appeared on "Mad Money" last Friday. Cramer was less excited about Coherus Biosciences (CHRS) - Get Report , despite the stock being up 43% for the year.
The biggest losers at the conference included Axovant (AXON) - Get Report which has tried and failed twice to meet its endpoints, and Tesaro (TSRO) - Get Report , which was force to change the label on its primary drug to warn of possible side effects.
Cramer felt that Clovis (CLVS) - Get Report might be an intriguing story after shares fell last week, but he admitted that the performance of Allergan (AGN) - Get Report , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, has been "embarrassing" and he admitted to being too bullish on the stock. He remains a fan of Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) - Get Report however, as that stock continues to catch fire.
Boeing Flying High
Some stocks are like coiled springs that bounce higher so fast that even the analysts get caught off guard. That's certainly been the case with Boeing (BA) - Get Report , which has tacked on 13.6% so far this year after leading the major averages higher last year with an 89% gain.
Part of Boeing's incredible move is simple supply and demand, Cramer told viewers. As the middle class continues to grow around the world, more people take to the air. That's left airlines scrambling to buy new planes, leading to decades long wait times for some of Boeing's most popular planes.
But there's also something else going on, Cramer noted, and that's an analyst community scrambling to catch up. Stocks don't typically see big gains in between earnings, but in the case of Boeing, shares have blown past the analysts' expectations, leading to price bump after price bump, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This action is likely to continue, Cramer concluded, and it's providing a nice cushion under Boeing shares on rare cases like today when there's softness in the stock.
Off the Charts
In the "Off the Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carolyn Boroden over the charts of Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report , Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report .
Boroden started with a weekly chart of Amazon, noting that the stock's most recent rallies lasted for $373 while the current one is not $408. She also noted a ceiling of resistance at $1344, which indicated a pullback between $137 and $157 is likely.
The weekly chart of Netflix showed a similar pattern, with rallies ranging between $44 and $47 a share and a ceiling of resistance looming. Alphabet also showed signs of a pullback in its daily chart, with the timing cycles indicating a decline is likely.
Even with Cramer favorite Nvidia, Boroden felt profit taking is in order, as she predicted a $229 price target before declines are likely.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Helmerich & Payne (HP) - Get Report , Service Corp (SCI) - Get Report , STMicroelectronics (STM) - Get Report , The Carlyle Group (CG) - Get Report and The Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Report .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he's not worried about today's market reversal, which was the largest we've seen in over a year. That's because there's something important going on in the market that's not getting talked about and that's buybacks.
Consider JPMorgan Chase, which has retired 300 million shares over the past three years, or 8% of the total shares outstanding. That's enough to move the needle, Cramer said, as are the 200 million shares bought back by Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report . It's not just the banks either, both Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report have been aggressively buying shares as well.
Considering there are only 250 trading days a year, it's easy to see how buying back that many shares could provide a cushion under any weakness that occurs. Lower tax rates will only strengthen this trend.
If you want to know whether Cramer thinks Facebook (FB) - Get Report can be bought on weakness, get over to Real Money and get more of his insights with a free trial subscription and his column on what's next for this market.
Cramer and the AAP Team dive into bank earnings and the outlook for 2018. 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.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in FB, JPM, AGN, GOOGL, MSFT, AAPL and NVDA.