There's only one question that matters to the market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. Was today's impressive market reversal a legitimate, buyable bottom? The market rallied last Tuesday as well, Cramer noted, but at that time, market technician Mark Sebastian felt the volatility hadn't gone high enough, and he was right. This week, Sebastian is more bullish.
Cramer said another metric he always looks at when calling a bottom is when down volume outpaces up volume by more than 9-to-1. Today, we saw a ratio of 10-to-1.
But the real indicator that a bottom might be at hand is earnings. Today we saw great earnings from McDonalds (MCD) , which rose 6.3%, and Verizon (VZ) , which saw a 4% gain. Even Caterpillar (CAT) delivered excellent earnings, despite what you may have heard to the contrary. Cramer said he's a buyer of Cat.
The only true negative on the day was 3M (MMM) . 3M's earnings were simply unacceptable for this great company, Cramer said. Its execution problems need to be addressed, and fast.
Where does all of this leave the markets? In a tough spot, Cramer admitted, stuck between trade problems with China and a Federal Reserve that refuses to see the economy for what it really is. With housing and oil falling fast, perhaps the Fed will wake up to reality and stop their rate hike rhetoric.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks about what to buy - but only when we signs of a legitimate bottom. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Viewers Have Questions
After a wild day on Wall Street, Cramer took calls from viewers to find out what's on the mind of Cramerica.
The first caller asked where he should put his money if he wanted to buy a home within the next two to four years. Cramer said given the short time line, he'd only put 50% of the money into stocks, keeping the other 50% safe for when it's needed.
Another called asked about saving for retirement in the current environment. Cramer said the conventional wisdom says to be in bonds as you approach retirement, but given the low rates, Cramer advised being 70% in stocks, as stocks are the only way to get the returns you need.
Finally, a caller asked about the airlines given the holiday season is around the corner and oil prices are cratering. Cramer said now's the perfect time to get into the airline stocks and Southwest Airlines (LUV) remains his favorite.
Behind Pulte Homes's Big Move
What was the most stunning event of the day? No, it wasn't the market's 500-point reversal, it was a 7.2% jump in Pulte Homes (PHM) . Does this mean the housing sector might finally be fining a bottom? Don't count on it.
The Fed's predetermined interest rate hikes have all but stopped the housing industry in its tracks. A 5% mortgage rate is a line in the sand for many buyers when it comes to affordability. That's why Pulte saw a 12% decline in so-called "starter homes" and was only saved by an uptick in senior living, which rose by 22%.
There are only two ways to spur housing, Cramer said. Either interest rates need to come down, or home prices need to be cut with additional incentives to lure buyers out of their ultra-low mortgages from the past few years.
Cramer and the AAP team are putting some capital to work and buying a few shares of Citigroup (C) . 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.
Executive Decision: Workday
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Aneel Bhusri, CEO of Workday (WDAY) , along with Tom Bogan, CEO of Adaptive Insights, which was recently acquired by Workday.
Bhusri explained that Adaptive rounds out Workday's vision of a unified platform that provides planning, execution and analysis tools. Adaptive represents a $5 billion market opportunity for Workday.
Bogan added that Adaptive currently has over 4000 customers and combined with Workday, their growth will only be accelerated by having access to Workday's larger, enterprise client base.
Bhusri said that being successful is all about solving customer problems, and both companies share a happy customer base, which proves that they're doing their job well. Everyone needs planning, which Adaptive offers, and everyone needs execution and analysis, which Workday provides.
Cramer said the combined company continues to head in the right direction.
Executive Decision: Logitech International
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again checked in with Bracken Darrell, president and CEO of Logitech International (LOGI) , the computer accessory maker that just posted mixed results which confused many investors.
Darrell explained that the three areas to focus on are gaming, which grew by 43%, video conferencing, which grew at 25% and Logitech's legacy peripheral business, which posted a modest 8% gain. Bluetooth speakers, which fell in the quarter, represents only 1% of sales, and was in transition as they're getting ready to introduce the next generation of speakers.
Darrell added that they've seen no shortages of semiconductors or other components in China and they can get any part they need, any time they need them.
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