Things are starting to look pretty bad out there, Jim Cramer admitted to his Mad Money viewers Thursday, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 660 points. On this day, all eyes were on Apple (AAPL) , the latest market casualty.
Cramer said Apple's pre-announcement was about one thing -- a slowdown in China. But we're still really not sure whether that slowdown is being caused by a rapidly weakening Chinese economy or by the Chinese discouraging consumers from buying American phones during a trade war.
Meanwhile, here at home, the Federal Reserve seems to have its eyes set on one thing: job losses. Cramer said the Fed won't be happy until they see people being laid off. The Fed's decision to switch from three rate hikes to just two proves their ability to ignore just about every other economic indicator, Cramer added.
So where should investors be putting their money? Cramer said only the defensive stocks are working, stocks like Clorox (CLX) , PepsiCo (PEP) and Coca-Cola (KO) . Investors should avoid the airlines, he said, as declining oil prices are being offset by the slowing economy. The economy is also taking its toll on the travel and leisure sector.
What matters after today is earnings and how bad the shortfalls will be, Cramer said. From the looks of Apple? Pretty bad. And that's worth considering as we go into the season that's not so jolly anyway.
Cramer and the AAP team say Apple's (AAPL) important, but we shouldn't lose sight of the other news. 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.
What can investors learn from last quarter's biggest winners and losers? Cramer dove into the lists to find out.
He started with the biggest winners, led by Red Hat (RHT) , which soared 30% after receiving a takeover bid from IBM (IBM) . Next was Newmont Mining (NEM) , up 14.7% for the quarter. Cramer said he still likes Randgold (GOLD) and Barrick Gold (ABX) .
Next on the list were Starbucks (SBUX) and CME Group (CME) . Cramer said he's a fan of the turnaround at Starbucks and isn't worried about the company's exposure to China. He was also a fan of CME Group, as futures trading will only increase as market volatility increases.
Then there's Realty Income (O) , an attractive dividend stock that pays more than U.S. Treasuries. Followed by Church & Dwight (CHD) , the consumer goods maker that's benefiting from lower commodity costs.
Finally, there's Dollar Tree (DLTR) , a company that's moving its sourcing away from China, and one that benefits from a slowing economy.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says sometimes, you just have to let it rain. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
What were the biggest losers of last quarter? That list was topped by Nvidia (NVDA) , the chipmaker that fell 52%. Cramer said he thinks the backlog will be solved this quarter, making this stock a buy. He was also bullish on Newfield Exploration (NFX) and PG&E (PGE) , numbers two and three on the worst performer list.
The same could not be said for Coty (COTY) , Align Technologies (ALGN) , Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) and Perrigo (PRGO) , all of which also made the list. Cramer was upbeat on Marathon Petroleum (MRO) and Schlumberger (SLB) , as he felt oil is bottoming.
Executive Decision: AMN Healthcare Services
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Susan Salka, president and CEO of AMN Healthcare Services (AMN) , the healthcare staffing provider.
Salka said our aging population continues to drive the healthcare industry, creating continued shortages for nurses, physicians and even leadership positions. People are everything in healthcare, she said, and AMN helps providers have the right people at the right times, while controlling costs.
For many healthcare providers, staffing represents 50% of their costs, which is why it's so important to utilize every doctor and nurse to their fullest potential.
AMN is very active in the communities they serve, promoting volunteerism, diversity and equality for themselves and the providers they serve.
Consolidation in the Drug Sector
Cramer surmised that after years of failed attempts at diversifications, these two companies are just what the other needed. He expects Abbvie (ABBV) , among others, to also feel the need the merge. That's why Cramer will be attending the annual JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Healthcare conference next week, to learn more about what the best in biotech are thinking.
Cramer was bearish on Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) .
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