- why he's still bullish despite transport stocks' recent declines;
- why you don't want to bet against Starbucks' CEO; and
- the hazards of technology investing.
Singin' the Transports Blues Posted at 3:37 p.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 21 Stalled. That's what I regard us as. Stalled because of the transports, which have turned hideous. Stalled because of the banks, which keep succumbing to profit-taking and downgrades after every microscopic move upward. Stalled because of the endless chatter about how nothing's getting better as stock prices advance. They are leaving the station without a locomotive pulling them. Me? I don't see it that way. To me today's about AutoNation ( AN) and KB Homes ( KBH) -- autos and housing. Both the strength in AutoNation, courtesy of a brokerage house talking about the amazing auto market, and the resurgence of KB Homes, courtesy the phenomenal order growth and profit-predictions from this morning's earnings release, show me that the main bullish themes are still very much in play and on track. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Sure, I would feel better if the transports were going higher. FedEx ( FDX) has fallen below where it first preannounced. Norfolk Southern ( NSC), as predicted, is breaking down, taking the rest of the complex with it. I never ignore Dow Theory, even as I don't think anyone thought that coal, the chief cargo of the rails, would ever go into such a precipitous secular decline. I think it's been a long and hard but good week. I think that profit-taking is in keeping with the preannouncements. You always want a rally to keep on keepin' on with Bank of America ( BAC) taking out $10, or Alcoa ( AA) challenging the teens, or Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY) bouncing back. But you can't always get what you want. Sometimes you get what you need -- like a pause in the rally to regain our bearings and shake out the faint of heart. Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, has no positions in the stocks mentioned.
Buck Starbucks at Your Own Peril Posted at 11:28 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 20 To believe in Starbucks ( SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz or not to believe in him? This morning, in what I regarded as one of the more intense interviews I can recall, Schultz introduced his new coffee machine, the Verismo, a latte/espresso machine. Schultz ducks nothing. Unlike the Trulia ( TRLA) CEO we interviewed earlier, Schultz ducked nothing. First he said that despite the Verismo entry, there is no coffee war with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR), the maker of the single-serve Keurig machine. Second, he said that he is seeing a bit of a turn in Europe, that there's "a glimpse of optimism." Third, while in quiet period, Howard intimated that the slowdown in sales that he saw in this country at the end of the quarter, one akin to what Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) saw, might indeed be reversing. Now, I know there are plenty of skeptics about the "separate peace" between Green Mountain and Starbucks, with questions being raised by Herb Greenberg, my colleague at CNBC, about how long the peace can last. I think Herb makes great points. Isn't Green Mountain eventually the lunch that must be eaten by Starbucks, instead of a partner? I think we have a "frenemy" situation that will morph into an enemy when and if Starbucks chooses to. Green Mountain does not have the heft to declare its own war, and the pricing of the Verismo, at a discount to the latest high-end machine from Green Mountain, told me that the war might already be on, much to Green Mountain's chagrin. I don't want to own Green Mountain's stock. But I do want to own Starbucks, and let me explain why. Despite lots of instant catcalls of my positive view on Schultz on Twitter at @JimCramer, I know Schultz as the man who made you one fortune when he brought Starbucks public and then, after the business went wayward under the CEO who replaced him, returned and made you a second one. He's been Jobs-like in that way, and I know you don't make that analogy lightly.
Tech Is Treacherous Posted at 1:33 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 19 Get me some tech! I need new names here! That used to be the war cry I had at my old shop every September because I wanted to play the annual seasonal trade in this huge part of the S&P 500. What hasn't moved yet? What has lagged, and what is about to play catch-up? Give me some merchandise! Suffice it to say that those screams for new ideas aren't working any more. Tech is more treacherous than I have ever seen it and not because of potential shortfalls. It is treacherous because it feels like tech as we know it is going away. This morning's downgrade of the semiconductor equipment sector is just one more nail in the coffin of the traditional places to run to if you want to own some tech to participate in the annual love fest. Nobody wants to own stocks of companies that pump out expensive machines that make chips for customers who are frantically trying to cut their equipment budgets.