That's a sign of what is happening in 2000. It is a chart that tells you everything you need to know.
What happened during that period? What happened that made the consumer staples come back instead of continuing to go down? Why did that stock stop right there? What occurred?
First, here is what
occur. We did not get a change in interest rates. Retail sales were way too strong for that to have happened. Nor did we get an acceleration in Anheuser-Busch's earnings. The reason why this chart is so darn instructive is precisely because nothing happened at the company. It was good before and it was good after. It is controlled.
So what did happen? A couple of things. One was the capitulation of
. This is a total irony analysis, that his departure from the scene marked the pain bottom in value investing. This is an OK thesis -- it has pizazz, but it makes you no money.
Another theory: the blow-up of
. I like this one. The crunching of the major go-go stock sent massive shock waves to those who buy these kinds of stocks. This was one of those seminal events that scared the growth-stock buyer into the bunker of safety. Anheuser-Busch is the definition of that bunker.
Finally, a third theory: Anheuser-Busch's strength is a sign that the
intends to take a recession rather than deal with this kind of growth. The only thing you do more of in a recession is drink more beer!
Simple, direct. And probably right. And just like
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at