Jim Cramer fills his blog on
every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
- rolling back the clock, and
- the housing bottom.
for information on
, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
You Must Sell the HMOs
Posted at 2:38 p.m. EDT, June 8, 2009
How could it suddenly dawn on holders of
that they are PENOs instead of HMOs! That means Public Enemy No. 1, by the Anti-HMO-in-Chief Barack Obama. I have been telling people to sell these stocks endlessly because the president wants their business to be nonprofit, which is difficult if you are a public company.
These companies, not unlike
contingent are all in Obama's cross hairs. These are companies that are viewed at best as friction and a tax on the system and at worse, actual taxpayer rip-offs.
In the case of the big HMOs, I think Obama can't figure out what these companies do other than make it so the government pays our more and you get less. Their case, that they do insure people who work at companies and do a good job keeping down costs -- something that I actually believe given how they relentlessly stand in the way of a lot of the diagnostics that cost money -- isn't going to be made by anyone in Washington.
The idea of anyone defending these companies seems pretty daunting. I think that these stocks should be sold and sold now, as the rhetoric will only grow. If you want to see what can happen, take a look at
Capital One Financial
, which was PENO last month.
You just can't take this pain as a shareholder. Pain does not lead to gain when Obama's against you -- it leads to loss.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
Rolling Back the Clock
Posted at 6:39 a.m. EDT, June 10, 2009
How low were we really? What was the real baseline pre-
? What was going on in the country and the world before that financial atomic bomb dropped?
I struggle over that now, about what the true price of copper should be, about what the true price of oil should be, about the price of steel, all kinds of things. I try to figure out what the prices for everything were going to be before Lehman.
What was going to happen? What would have happened if
hadn't been an allegedly criminal enterprise? What was the trend line? What would have occurred if our banks weren't all about to fail?
You have to ask yourself this because otherwise you really have had such huge gains in just about everything, especially commodities, and you would have to ring the register on just about everything given where we came from. It almost seems reckless not to. The increases in steel and copper and oil are so bold and strong and relentless that you would have to be were we operating full-tilt
, even though it is obvious that the full tilt is not here. Because we don't see it the whole thing feels ridiculously inflated and driven totally by speculators.
When coming in today I'm personally blown away by the strength in EVERYTHING and I am a BULL. Who knows what others must be thinking, particularly the hedge fund managers still playing that mixed book game who fall by the wayside every day.
I know the worries will be there today. Oil's too high. Copper is too high. Asia's too high. Everything's too high.
But I come back and say, "Look, we are simply trying to figure out where we would be if the Western financial world hadn't collapsed artificially over $4 trillion in bad mortgages that are now being worked through."
The countries that were less affected by the mortgage crisis, the Asian countries, are without a doubt in total boom, aided by a tech environment that is beginning to look like the best in
because of wireless Internet.
Resource-rich Latin America's back in boom with new oil finds that give Brazil a total South Arabia feel to it.
Europe's coming out of a depression and we are doing better than we have been because real estate is coming back so fast even as we are told it is going lower.
All of these are now taking us to a world that is literally rolling back the clock by the day. It feels like last month we rolled back AIG, this month Lehman and
. I figure next month we roll back
and then the month after that we roll back
Yes, we are basically repealing everything that happened
last year. Will it lead to strength industrially?
It hasn't yet, here.
But it is leading to a world where we all want a little more risk. For example, I want the risk of real estate and real estate bonds and commercial real estate -- and those are all areas that were supposed to be killing us.
Others want the risk of secured debt and even unsecured debt now that the auto mess is behind us.
I don't know where the true commodity baseline should be in light of all of that desire for more risk. I don't want to endlessly simplify it as "a play on the weak dollar," because that didn't work last time as a concept and it won't get you anywhere this time either. You just played until you hit the retaining wall.
I am, though, beginning to believe that what happened is we skipped a big beat in September last year and we are now back to where we were beating in August, and the climb you are seeing in the averages is nothing more than the recovery to pre-Lehman. When we get there, in full, with all of the prices intact of the companies that are still intact (excluding
( GMGMQ), AIG,
( FNM) and
( FRE)) then we will be too high.
But maybe not until then. So the worries will continue to be surmounted and the usual suspects -- oil, finance and tech -- get reached for, once again, as it looks like they will be all the way into the end of the quarter.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
Mark My Words: This Is the Housing Bottom
Posted at 9:27 a.m. EDT, June 11, 2009
Uh oh, the big May foreclosure numbers -- the numbers for when many of the state moratoriums expired, the real sign of things. Bad?
Good. We had 6%
foreclosures than in April, and the lowest since July 2006, according to Realtytrac, a very reliable outfit.
This is another sign that the market for real estate is bottoming. You have to understand that a housing bottom is not about house price appreciation. It is strictly about house price
, and that's what is happening all over the country. If it were house price appreciation, that would be good news for
. We do not have appreciation. Stabilization, on the other hand, is
good for them because the stabilization is at a level that is too low to build because sales are driven by the foreclosures.
Take the worst market in the United States, Las Vegas. In May we saw the following: inventories down big, 9.3% year over year; transactions up big, a 60% increase over last year; and prices down big, $140,000 median, off 40% from last year. Eighty percent of the homes sold were foreclosure.
Now, best of all, prices stabilized and were only down 1.2%, which the
Las Vegas Review-Journal
reports is the smallest decline since November 2007, right when the peak occurred.
Remember the cycle -- at the bottom you get price stabilization and sales explosion. You do
get price appreciation.
These numbers are showing the bottom is in. If we get a bigger tax credit -- talked about in the Senate -- then you would have house price appreciation because we would burn through the inventory very fast. When we look at these numbers, we have to recognize that even after foreclosure moratoriums, we are getting flattening in price and a sales spike.
Now, how about the much-talked-about mortgage rate increases? They are up, up from 5.35% to 5.74%, big, but I would have killed for this rate a year ago. We need to keep that in perspective, too.
This is the bottom. This is what it looks like. Do not listen to those who say I don't know what I am talking about; I am in this market every day looking for real estate around the country.
I just wish there was more for sale. We are running down inventories nationwide, except in New York, because so many units are coming on as part of the end of a tax abatement that put 22,000 new apartments into the ground at the end of 2008, and Miami, because of a monster amount of condos that were started in 2007.
House price stabilization is here.
, boom! ... People are buying things when the price comes down, and they are buying autos, as we know from that retail sales number. ... Oil forecast goes up by IEA, how unreliable are they? What do they do, stick their fingers in the air? ...
, nice dividend boost.
too! ... JPMorgan number bump for
Research In Motion
( RIMM) makes for some chance of a
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Qualcomm and JPMorgan.
Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
Action Alerts PLUS. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. To order Cramer's newest book -- "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer),"
click here. Click
here to order "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click
here to order "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click
here to get "You Got Screwed!" and click
here for Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback and invites you to send comments by
TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Amazon.com under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Amazon.com purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.