If there's one word that defines the stock market lately, that word would be "extremist," Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. Extremes, he said, should be avoided at all costs.
Today's session began with a strong rally in tech, along with a sell-off in the industrials. Shares of 3M (MMM) plunged after the company reported strong earnings, leaving Cramer struggling to find what investors didn't like about the quarter. After trading near its lows for the year, shares reversed, ending the day up 0.9% as investors came to the same conclusion Cramer did. This quarter was fantastic.
Shares of Salesforce.com (CRM) told the opposite story. After the company reported, shares soared to new highs, then reversed, ultimately closing down 1% on the day.
Cramer warned investors that extremes of both kinds should be avoided. Never chase a stock to all-time highs and never sell a stock down at its lows for year, especially when there's nothing wrong.
He reminded viewers that the industrials will be big beneficiaries from the Chinese economic stimulus announced today, stimulus that may counteract any tariff and trade concerns.
Cramer and the AAP team dissect the gains in Alphabet (GOOGL) , Nucor (NUE) and DowDuPont (DWDP) . 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.
Off the Charts
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Mark Sebastian for the latest read on the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX as it's known.
Sebastian first looked at a daily chart comparing the VIX to the S&P 500. He noted that in January, both indices were rising at the same time. Anytime that happens, the VIX is usually right, as it was in January when the market tanked and the VIX promptly spiked.
But the opposite pattern has been true with the market's latest rally. Since June, the S&P has seen a 5% gain, while the VIX has fallen from 18 to 12. That led Sebastian to posit that the smart money still believes in this rally.
Sebastian also looked at a chart of the VIX versus the VVIX, a derivative that measures the volatility of the VIX itself. (Yes, it measures the volatility of the volatility index.) Sebastian noted that if the VIX goes lower, but the VVIX doesn't follow, then the trend could be ready to reverse.
Fortunately, this is not the case now, and the rally remains intact.
To see the charts and read more about Cramer and Sebastian's in-depth analyses, read Signals From the Volatility Index: Cramer's 'Off the Charts'.
Too High or Too Low?
Are shares of Alphabet too high, or too low? Cramer told viewers that depends on how you're framing the question.
When asked about its mission on the company's conference call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pachai explained that Google aims to be the source people turn to when they run into problems. Whether it's maps, translate or just plain search, Cramer said when looked at in this context, investors would not be late to the digital transformation party, given that 90% of all commerce is still performed offline.
There are only a handful of companies that solve problems in a digital way, and they are Facebook (FB) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) . While other companies have limits, like geography, these companies can transcend these problems by simply giving more people more answers to the problems they have. Need an item? Amazon has it. Need entertainment? Netflix has it. Need to know what your friends are up to? That's Facebook.
How Danaher Did It
How does a great American industrial conglomerate get its groove back? Cramer said it does what Danaher (DHR) did last week, and unlocked a ton of value for its shareholders.
It was two years ago that Danaher first ran into the age-old problem of being too diversified, which made the company hard for Wall Street to value. Danaher was quick to respond, however, spinning off Fortive (FTV) , a company that itself is up 56% over the past two years.
The remaining Danaher was also a solid performer, delivering slow and steady growth that investors lapped up until earlier this year, when fears over tariffs and a slowing dental business weighed on its share price. Danaher was again quick to respond, announcing last week that it will spin off its dental business in a move very similar to Fortive.
Danaher also clarified the tariff worries, explaining that so far the impact will be about a penny a share, but the company is already hard at work to mitigate even those minor impacts.
Cramer said it's clear that Danaher is a company that "gets it" and has a proven track record of success. That gives shares a lot more room to run.
Executive Decision: Centene
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked back in with Michael Neidorff, chairman and CEO of Centene (CNC) , the health-plan provider with shares up 342% over the past five years. Centene shares fell 4.5% today after the company posted a top and bottom line earnings beat that failed to impress Wall Street.
Neidorff said that healthcare costs remain stable, growing in the low single digits, which will allow Centene to help lower the management costs of Fidelis, the company they acquired last year. Centene is a proponent of big data, using analytics and predictive modeling to help patients achieve better outcomes.
When asked about the state of healthcare in our country, Neidorff said we're moving from policy to politics, and that's sad because for the past five years, Centene has proven that the Affordable Care Act can not only work, but be profitable for those who participate in it.
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