Making money in the stock market isn't easy, Jim Cramer admitted to his Mad Money viewers on the 14th anniversary of the show. He said for those who don't have the time or inclination to invest in individual stocks, low-cost index funds are still the way to go. But for the those who believe in his "buy-and-do-your-homework" strategy, there are still plenty of opportunities for individuals to buy individual stocks.
Before you capitalize on those opportunities, however, you must know the risks. For Thursday's session, Cramer identified five risks that investors need to consider. The first was Boeing (BA) , which has been a terrific investment for years. But after the second 737 Max crash, the stock has become a short-term battleground.
Cramer's second market risk? The dollar stores. These stocks have been on fire in 2019, but it's inevitable that even your favorite stocks will turn on a dime if you're not paying attention.
Next were Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Facebook (FB) , two long-time Cramer favorites. He said J&J is a fabulous company, but with today's $29 million verdict against it and thousands of other lawsuits pending, it's enough to rattle even the most steadfast investors. As for Facebook, Cramer said he thought nothing else could possibly go wrong for this Action Alerts PLUS holding. Turns out, he was wrong. Between a new criminal investigation and the departure of its chief product officer, there's likely still more weakness ahead.
Finally, there's the continuing Brexit saga, which only continues to spread doubt and uncertainty into markets worldwide.
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Executive Decision: General Electric
In a special anniversary edition "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Larry Culp, chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE) , which ended the day up 2.8% after the company updated investors on its outlook.
Culp said he explained to investors today that GE has a clear strategy to do two things, clean up their balance sheet and set up their many businesses to win. He admitted that 2019 will be a "reset year" for the 117-year old company, but beginning in 2020 and beyond, GE will be set up for continued success.
When asked what a reset year really means, Culp said that it means GE will be transparent and share what their problems and issues are as well as their many opportunities. There will be no sugar coating, he added, they have a lot of work to do and that work will take time to complete.
As an outsider at General Electric, Cramer asked what Culp found when he arrived at the company just under six months ago. Culp said he found a strong, resilient team and amazing customer relationships at GE, but also problems that will require them to embrace reality. The company's power business is one of those problems, he said. GE's power business has been under-managed, and needs to be run better if it's going to win.
Finally, when asked about their balance sheet, Culp reiterated that this is the No. 1 priority, and by selling their biopharma assets to Danaher (DHR) and raising capital in other areas, they will be able to fix the problems.
Kicking the Tires at Carvana
Picking stocks is about more than just a company's fundamentals, Cramer told viewers, it's also about what's hot in the Wall Street fashion show. Case in point: Carvana (CVNA) , a stock that's up 70% so far this year and 160% in the past 12 months.
Cramer said Carvana was flying high going into the fourth quarter last year when, despite posting strong results, the stock sold off hard along with the broader averages. That's because high growth stocks like Carvana are precisely the stocks money managers sell early in a decline.
Carvana is a stock that's become detached from its fundamentals, Cramer continued. The stock spiked 11% in November when it reported those strong results, only to give up those gains the next day. After a bullish analyst day, the stock barely moved, while today, its gyrations are being driven by short sellers.
Cramer concluded Carvana is simply too hot to own right now, which is why he recommended selling it if you own it.
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In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer told viewers that he hates battleground stocks, like Boeing has now become. He said the analyst opinions are all over the place, with some citing the stock's 70-point decline from its highs, while others note that shares are still up 15% for the year.
Cramer said the fact is we don't know what's wrong with the 737 Max yet, if anything. We don't know what the repercussions will be for Boeing or for the airlines that rely on the 737. The only thing we do know is that whatever the problem, Boeing will find it and fix it, as it has always done in the past.
But compare all of the uncertainty in Boeing to that of Dell Technologies (DELL) , which was featured on last night's show. Dell is the opposite of Boeing. The company has tremendous opportunities and no bear case to speak of, other than the company's balance sheet. Dell has both momentum and is a secular grower, not a cyclical giant like Boeing. If you had to choose one of these, Cramer said he's a buyer of Dell, but would wait and see on Boeing.
Off the Tape: Transfix
In his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with Drew McElroy and Jonathan Salama, CEO and CTO of the privately held Transfix, a company looking to fix the nation's inefficient logistics network.
McElroy started off by saying that every year, trucks drive more than 65 billion miles with empty loads. That's why Transfix's platform helps match trucks and loads every day for a more efficient network with greater efficiency and utilization.
McElroy admitted that being a truck driver has been a difficult lifestyle for the past 20 years. That's why their goal is to make trucking more attractive for everyone by making the needed improvements.
Salama added that the problem isn't just Amazon (AMZN) . He said people would be buying more products from stores if they weren't buying them online. Either way, volumes are increasing and greater efficiency is needed.
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