By James Cramer
Couldn't sleep Tuesday night; maybe it was pre-Squawk Box jitters. Could have been the construction ongoing in the kitchen. Or that the wife and kids remain at the beach while I toil back in the city.
Whatever, I had nothing to read save what was in my black bag, about two dozen faxes from major corporations breaking down their second-quarter earnings.
Call me a nut job -- I found them riveting. One after another. I started with
, which has transformed itself from the ugliest duckling to the world's greatest maker of big-cap goods, including
. U.S.: booming; Latin America: on fire; Europe: pretty good.
But forget tone of business. Cat Tractor is a financial juggernaut. They've bought back a ton of stock, increased the dividend, taken market share, figured out how to rein in troublesome inventory and eliminated the labor difficulties.
Save for some weakness in Asia, the Cat quarter was picture perfect. Here is a company that, at one time, was at the mercy of U.S. GDP spending that now controls its destiny worldwide -- an amazing achievement.
. Where did this company come off making that kind of money given where the refining spreads are, given the declining crude price, given its stodgy past reputation? Exxon reported a blowout number where they quietly credited better financial controls.
: After quarter after quarter of disappointment, Pepsi is getting it together. Traders called the rally in Pepsi after the number a relief rally. But after reading the release I got the sense that Enrico had cleaned up Pepsi's bad act both in restaurants and in overseas. It was a bravo.
Then on to
. Two great drugs, lots more coming, excellent financial controls, a true blowout quarter.
. I could go on endlessly about all of these because I found each one fascinating. They all represented remarkable achievements in the face of a cooling economy. They all generated real gains at a time when inflation is under control. They all actually made me proud of the turn in corporate America.
But before I wax too patriotic, let me go back to my point. When you hear and read about strategists who are worried about the strength of corporate earnings you should be thinking only one thing: Do these people have a clue of what they are talking about? Have they read any of these reports? Have they been on the myriad conference calls we have been on, the vast majority of which brought cheers from investors?
It's obvious from my insomnia that the answer is no. They just haven't done their homework.
James Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of
. His fund is long
. That is not meant to be investment advice. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback, emailed to