This blog post by Jim Cramer originally appeared on RealMoney.com Monday.
Never, ever has it taken me this long to read the charts that come hand-delivered to my house every Saturday morning. And it is not just because I just came back from a whirlwind tour of Israel, Jordan and Egypt. It's because when I go over the charts I am always looking for juicy ones, ones that tell a story, that signal where the action is, where the money's going to.
I dog-ear the pages and mark 'em like I am back in law school, no better than that cause I got a cushy job in year two so I didn't have to dog-ear much in the third year.
There are four charts to a page and I usually like to fold the page up or down depending on the corner. But I saw so many good ones that I resorted to ripping middle pages so I could come back to re-circle and figure out what the heck these patterns are saying.
And you know what? They are saying that now that health care is done, finished, complete, we are ready to roll with employment growth and with a Congress that is no longer pathetically locked into a negative mode. Does it mean that the rest of the negative agenda for business may be upon us? I am developing strong views on this. If the likes of
are taking the hit and their stocks continue to power to new highs, maybe it just doesn't matter. Maybe the recovery is going to be so strong that we don't have to fret about Washington nearly as much as we thought.
The charts tell us the story. The folded and mutilated best-in-show charts include all sorts of groups that are totally discretionary in spending, a sure sign that something is happening with the consumer that is nothing short of miraculous. Of course, retail is strong, particularly the once scorned ghetto of teenage apparel:
. That means parents are giving their kids money again. But so are the regular apparel places, like
As well as the shoe biz, with
. I can't include
because they aren't in the chart book but any perusal of those two tells you that people are spending like wildfire on things they don't need.
Speaking of wildfire, have you looked at the charts of
? Tell me you would step into those places and buy a good entertainment system for your car or home if you weren't feeling better than the media says you do.
Or how about where people are shopping for expensive goods, ones that you buy when you are rosy in outlook:
? How else can you explain those new highs? I have no answer. I don't have one for expensive places like
You would expect that if the pricey joints are rocking you won't see much spending at the poor house, but how can you explain the
How about places you go when you aren't going to be kicked out of your house because of changes in the mortgage foreclosures being put in effect by the federal government, changes that at last look like they will work, especially if you judge the bull market in land as represented by
, the two biggest landowners?
Going out? The charts of
say you do.
Taking a vacation? Looks like people are hitting the road big time, with airlines like
and cruise lines like
, or hotels like
. Or destinations like
, and stops on the way like
If travel's back the plane companies don't have enough planes to handle the new customers. Perhaps that, and the stubborn problems at
, are driving one of the best bull markets out there, with
all in a bull market conflagration.
They are one-for-one with the industrials that are hitting 52-week highs, the ones that should be dreading the Obama agenda:
Some of that has to do with autos, I am sure, as that category is demonstrating strength through the remaining players in the books:
You have to ship the parts, and the rallies in
confirm it's happening.
The market has spoken about health care: the more customers, the merrier, which means anything with the word health in it, whether it be a REIT or a testing company as well as the HMOs, like
, and anything hospital or body part, like
, can't seem to be kept down. Look out for pricey homecare companies like
, because it looks like the government's going to back them in a big way.
Speaking of government backing, no sign of a let up in defense spending, so
continue their seemingly endless moves higher.
Few markets are as strong as the insurance companies that were supposed to be wrecked by their real estate portfolios:
are great examples.
So are the mortgage insurers, left once for dead, now powering mightily forward:
being the best examples.
Back from the dead? How about dancing? The regional banks are joining the dance with
among the strongest.
With taxes going up people seem to want annuities to protect themselves. How else to explain the sudden take-off of
Sure there are laggards, notably tech, save
and some fast Internet plays, like
. The semis are in the balance, the software makers stuck.
Incredibly, one of the worst groups is the oils and the oil services. They are poor performers, perhaps because of the leverage to natural gas. The drillers levered to it show that, as do the main users, the utilities, and the plastic companies:
Can you imagine if they caught fire? The only stocks left not to move would be the totally-out-of favor consumers staples like
Put simply, this is a remarkable run, embraced by about a half-dozen people I read and hear on TV. I know it's been hard to stay long. I got cold feet on the industrials believing that the health care plan would hurt them. That was plainly wrong. Worried about labor's powerful agenda and cap-and-trade, I got worried about the consequences of retailers like
and banks like
Bank of America
, for unions, and the industrials for emissions.
Looks like all nonsense now.
Finally, we are coming in the least overbought we have been in a while. That means that most of these stocks still present an opportunity to buy.
Maybe some charts lie. Maybe some sectors are fibbing.
But to now acknowledge the power of this bull is to be, well, as I used to say in this column, WRONG.
Give this one its due. It ain't finished and it has a lot more converting to do, especially if 25% of the market, tech and oils, come to play.
Oh, and S&P, can you send me a new chartbook? Mine's too dog-eared now to use!
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, Bank of America, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, United Parcel Service and Weyerhauser.
Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio,
. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.
Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.
Mr. Cramer is the author of "
," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.