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:
- our foolish national business policy,
- tech's coming resurgence, and
- a bold retail call.
for information on
, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
The Self-Defeating Business Policy
Posted at 12:47 p.m. EST, Dec. 8, 2009
Why does the U.S. market underperform? Simple reasons, like the front page of
The New York Times
, which, basically, says that the drilling for natural gas in the largest repository of natural gas, the Marcellus Shale, is compromising drinking water, something that is sure to kill this bold attempt at energy independence. Because the CO2 rules are paralyzing whole blocks of industry, because no one knows for sure what kinds of plants they should build or the cost of their operations.
These kinds of arbitrary decisions and negative press make it so I feel that we are so self-destructive in our business practices that it is difficult to invest in industrial companies that have a majority of their businesses here.
When you couple that with the fact that it is hard to get a loan -- well documented in the endless articles about how banks are not loaning -- and we don't know the health care costs of employees, you begin to wonder why anyone would or could expand in this country.
You particularly worry about the engine of growth, small business, and how it can handle this thicket of regulations and rules and a regime that seems to give only lip service to business.
How ironic is it that the only business I know that has hired more than 1,000 people this year in this country,
, is going to be a victim of the reckless campaign against drilling because of worries about water that have so far proven
unfounded and of climate-control rules that are so in flux that everyone is frozen. And the coal-powered utilities can get away with the idea that they have to do nothing, even as the new businesses trying to figure this all out are unable to wend their way through the thicket of Washington.
The pattern is everywhere. Yesterday,
Terry Lundgren fretted about the new rules the administration wants, where you have to show a pay stub to get a Macy's card. Given that no one has pay stubs with them, that source of Macy's sales and credit will go away. Bad for Macy's, worse for the consumer. But that's because, of course, the administration seeks to protect the least well-off from themselves instead of worrying about how they can get credit to buy things with the idea that one day they can pay it back.
The whole regimen of this nation has become threatening to business, and the moment you point it out, you can bet you will become public enemy No. 1 of this crowd.
Better to shut up and take the pain that it keeps dishing.
I wish I had that instinct of self-preservation. Comes in handy under a Pelosi-Obama presidency. How bad were Bush and his team that these radicals were allowed to hijack this government and no one's willing to stand up to them?
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.
>>Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll
Wait for Tech to Be Loved Again
Posted at 11:05 a.m. EST, Dec. 9, 2009
The tech market has gone from loving everything to hating everything, and it's obvious when
say great things and no one cares. This on top of the muted reaction to
John Chambers' incredible bullishness about next year -- trust me, it was incredible and in keeping with his upbeat earnings conference call, so no slippage -- and the blah reaction to
. (Although we continue to see
Advanced Micro Devices
run, because it, like its sister also-ran in telco,
, it's a decent spec.
We saw this last week too with the dissing of the
good news and the only momentary lift to
marvelous quarter. Part of my thesis about liking tech was that I saw some good pin action from the group off of Altera, but it has since gone astray.
I am not willing to throw in the towel on this group, as it is coming into the winter with a big head of steam driven by strong cell-phones, desktops and product cycles, like Windows 7. Plus, I think that the action with
, once again, trying to raise its head, gives me hope that the group is so oversold that the leadership is about to reassert itself.
Nonetheless, I think that that if we do catch a negative data point, you are going to see a real downdraft in the group. So I would leave it like this: No need to buy any tech until we get that negative data point and then circle back to the winners, which will have their stocks dinged to levels well below where they reported such excellent news and gave such positive prognoses. I never like to have to "hope," but I do find myself hoping that Apple stays up, signaling that the leadership is back in action. I just don't like banking on it.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.
The Retail Report No One Else Would Write
Posted at 1:13 p.m. EST, Dec. 10, 2009
For kicks, let me just pretend I am a retail analyst and give you my sell-side report to show you what I think they should be saying:
Why Retail Stocks Should Be Bought Now
By Jim Cramer, retail analyst,
With the holiday season upon us, it's time to step up to the retail sector and go fully invested in this segment. Channel checks indicate that the consumer is spending more than we thought, and some items -- particularly boots, housewares, electronics and warmer clothing -- are very strong. The strength lies not just in the department stores and the discounters but also in the clubs and big-box retailers.
What's selling the strongest right now? Personal computers and smartphones, with our channel checks showing especially brisk sales of
iPhones and iMacs. We are also seeing a brisk business at
computers as well as printers and cartridges.
confirms similar sales with its "Apple store within a store" selling an immense amount of product and big-screen TVs being hard to stock.
Mainstream department stores report very strong sales of North Face, a
product, aided by the sudden cold weather sweeping across the country. Uggs, a
product, are in short supply. Boots made by
are selling exceptionally well.
housewares division is recording some of its best sales in years, some of which is product by Jarden, but also expensive cookware including Calphalon, a
reports excellent sales of Jarden products too, with the Jarden crock-pot being among the strongest sellers this year. A stay-at-home-and-cook wave seems to extend to the sales of
, which is having its best Christmas in years.
The consumer is spending more in part because of a belief that the worst job cuts are over. A robust stock market has brought many investors back to even, and a stabilized housing market with four straight months of fewer foreclosures has led to a more willingness to spend on products that increase the value of homes, including
paint and fixtures by
Also aiding the consumer are low heating costs and lower pump prices as the price of gasoline has begun to fall after what seemed to be an inexorable rise.
These trends are confirmed by
, which reports a particularly robust debit card business.
The time to buy the retailers -- whether it be
, which reported a fine number, allaying fears of shortfalls; or
for an improving housing market; or Macy's, since its precipitous decline caused by a willingness to sacrifice top line for bottom line -- is upon us.
Now, why isn't that being written? Pretty simple -- it is so totally out of sync with the look and feel of the moment that no one in his right mind would go out that bullish.
Yet all of it, from the falling gasoline and heating prices to the blowout numbers for Uggs to the strength in housewares, is completely true.
So you can stick with the bearish research, or you can go with mine. I bet mine makes more money.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Costco, Home Depot, Visa and VF Corp.
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.