It's time to face the euphoria in the stock market head-on, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. The only problem? It turns out, a lot of the optimism is actually justified.
With the pandemic raging out of control, destroying both lives and our economy, it seems unfathomable that the stock market is hitting new highs. But the top two best performing stocks in the S&P 500 today where Accenture (ACN) - Get Report and Lennar (LEN) - Get Report, and when you examine why, Cramer the euphoria makes perfect sense.
Shares of Accenture rallied 6.8% Thursday after the company reported earnings that included bookings up a monster 25%. The company bought back 3.3 million shares of its own stock and boosted its dividend by 10%. In its conference call, Accenture said companies are desperate to digitize and need their help to make it happen. Cramer said Accenture is locked into a secular trend and remains a buy.
Then there's home builder Lennar. Typically, Lennar would be a sell with unemployment so high. But shares closed up 7.6% after the company also told of a secular growth story fueled by ultra-low mortgage rates and a migration to the suburbs as people flee pandemic-hit cities.
These are just two of the many bullish stories propelling stocks higher, Cramer concluded, and it's why there isn't as much froth in the market as you might think.
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Executive Decision: At Home Group
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Lee Bird, chairman and CEO of At Home Group (HOME) - Get Report, the home furnishings retailer with shares up 1,000% from their March lows after reporting 44% same-store sales growth this past quarter.
Bird said that At Home is having a record year with record sales and profitability. The company has paid down its debt and is seeing strong momentum. At Home currently has 219 stores, but Bird said they can easily support 600 locations.
It's not just the pandemic driving sales, Bird added, as his company is taking market share from competitors. At Home stores serve as their hubs, he explained, offering a great in-store experience as well as omni-channel options for curbside pickup and delivery. Customers are shopping more often and spending more when they do.
When asked about sourcing, Bird said that 60% of their goods are imported from overseas where prices are better. The company continues to diversify their sourcing efforts around the globe.
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Executive Decision: Bank of America
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report for an update on the company's social equality initiatives that started a little over a year ago.
Moynihan explained that Bank of America began with an investment of $1 billion to help local communities and, over the past year, that amount has almost doubled. Bank of America is providing equity directly to communities in need as well as making grants and donating supplies to local healthcare centers.
One of those investments was in Southern Bankcorp, which is why Cramer also spoke with Darrin Williams, the bank's CEO. Williams said that with Bank of America's help, Southern has been able to greatly expand and grow, helping local manufacturers stay afloat, create new jobs and give back to their communities.
When asked about the government's involvement in stimulus efforts, Moynihan said that it's not the government's job to take a stake in local businesses. He said there is plenty of private investment available, companies just need to step up, make the commitment and get it done.
Executive Decision: Veeva Systems
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in Peter Gassner, CEO of Veeva Systems (VEEV) - Get Report, the cloud software provider for the life sciences industry. Shares of Veeva are up 98% for the year.
Gassner said Veeva is proud to contribute. There are 30 vaccines currently in development. His company's software is helping to develop, manufacture and distribute some of these critical drugs. The company has "digitized a lot of things," and has only scratched the surface.
Cybersecurity remains a focus at Veeva, Gassner said. We have to assume everyone is always trying to gain access to these new drugs so they can call them their own. Security remains paramount.
Gassner added that Veeva is helping to make better and more efficient healthcare using new technologies. They are right on the cutting edge of remote meetings, for example, helping connect doctors to drugmakers in real time.
On the Road Again
In his No Huddle Offense segment, Cramer pondered what people will do once we have a vaccine. One thesis is that travel will return, and in a big way.
Cramer reminded viewers that the 1918 pandemic gave way to the roaring '20s and now, a hundred years later, we may be in for a surge in travel. Hospitality could be a coiled spring, he said, which is why Boeing (BA) - Get Report remains a favorite, along with the airlines, cruise lines and casinos. The market is betting big on travel, Cramer said, and you should be, too.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Thursday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in CVS.