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Can any one company transcend oil's downward pull on the markets? That was the question Jim Cramer was asking his Mad Money viewers Monday after another round of selling on Wall Street. Fortunately, the answer was "yes," especially if that company is McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report .
Today, McDonald's delivered a strong quarter, one that included a 5% rise in same store sales. This is only the beginning of the turnaround at McDonald's, Cramer noted, under the leadership of CEO Steve Easterbrook.
Cramer explained that on the surface, the simpler menu instituted by Easterbrook may not seem like a big deal. But fewer choices means fewer mistakes, which lead to happy customers and re-energized franchisees.
McDonald's renewed focus on value and convenience matters, Cramer continued, and it's proving to be a winning formula.
One person can make a difference, Cramer concluded, even if it is just in one stock for one day.
Executive Decision: Tom Falk
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Tom Falk, chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark (KMB) - Get Report , which today had an earnings miss of 1 cent a share on a 6% decline in revenue, news that sent shares lower by 3.1%. Shares of Kimberly-Clark currently yield 2.9%.
Falk said Kimberly saw its best volume performance since 2007 and is winning in local markets around the globe. He explained that the weakness in revenue stems from the continued strength of the U.S. dollar.
Falk said things are going great in markets like China, where Kimberly hopes to be in 130 cities by year's end. He was also encouraged by an uptick in the U.S. birth rate, which bodes well for Kimberly's diaper and baby products.
When asked about the effects of lower commodities, Falk confirmed lower oil prices reduced the price of plastics, while the price of pulp and paper is also helping Kimberly's bottom line.
With the company remaining committed to its dividend and stock buyback program, Cramer told viewers to be owners, not traders, of this great consumer packaged-goods company.
Jumping Into Retail Cold
After months of not being able to move their winter apparel, is it finally time to start buying the retailers now that Saturday's blizzard blanketed the East Coast with two to three feet of snow?
Cramer said many investors turn to Home Depot (HD) - Get Report in situations like these, but Home Depot is too big for one storm to make a difference. Then there's Deckers (DECK) - Get Report , too unreliable; VF Corp (VFC) - Get Report , which just guided earnings lower; and Polaris Industries (PII) - Get Report , which suffers from Japanese competition.
That leaves Columbia Sportswear (COLM) - Get Report as the best play on winter, Cramer declared. After peaking at $74 back in July, shares of Columbia are down 33% since the bear market began. Yet Columbia remains the leader in both fashionable, and practical, winter apparel.
Columbia reports next week, Cramer noted, but those earnings won't reflect this week's storm. It's Columbia's next quarter that should be exciting. As such, Cramer suggested starting a small position ahead of earnings and adding to it on any weakness.
Don't Buy Etsy
Etsy came public back in April at $16 and almost immediately doubled, closing its open day at $30 a share. But by May 15, shares had already plunged to just above $20, causing Cramer to issue his first warning against owning it.
Since then, Cramer said his fears regarding Etsy have only gotten worse, as the company continues to have no clear path towards profitability. Making matters worse, Etsy now has a new competitor in Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report , which entered the artisan goods space in October. Cramer said no one has any idea the damage Amazon can do to Etsy.
Even if Etsy did have its act together, Cramer said today's market is not one for rewarding high risk. That's why investors always must pay attention to the numbers before they invest. In the case of Etsy, those numbers were decelerating before they even got started.
Cramer was bearish on Boston Scientific (BSX) - Get Report , Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) - Get Report , Covanta (CVA) - Get Report , Kroger (KR) - Get Report , Mattel (MAT) - Get Report , Linear Technology (LLTC) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) - Get Report .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer took another look at the price movements in oil, in another attempt to explain what's really going on.
Cramer said that Friday's strong rally in oil came after oil service giant Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report forecast drastically reduced spending on oil drilling, allowing supply and demand to finally return to balance sometime in 2016.
Should those comments have caused a rally? Cramer said Schlumberger also said it doesn't see a rebound in oil exploration until 2017. While that may be enough for some in the oil industry to proclaim a quick return to $60 and $70 a barrel oil, the oil futures markets are only pricing oil at $49.49 a barrel... in 2024, a full nine years from now.
That's why investors need to remain skeptical of any one-day surge in the oil markets. The bottom remains as illusive as ever.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in stocks mentioned.