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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Can investors afford to go against the grain in the this volatile stock market? Jim Cramer asked on Mad Money Thursday. His answer? Don't expect big gains before first feeling a lot more pain.
Cramer said the industrials are the perfect example of his thesis. The industrials were soaring along earlier this year under the premise that the world was returning to normal and any chance of a recession was long behind us. But in recent weeks and months that thesis changed as earnings turned negative, China appeared to stall and now Europe could easily slip back into recession thanks to Russian sanctions.
Should investors take the contrarian view and buy into this weakness? Cramer said the selling in this group has only just begun because the analysts have yet to throw in the towel and lower their estimates. He wouldn't be a buyer until that happens.
The same applies to the oil companies, which should be going up amid global tensions. Instead, oil has been heading lower as the U.S. dollar strengthens. This trend is not your friend, Cramer noted.
Whether its the industrials, the oils or the airlines, just about every sector has negatives that have yet to play out, Cramer concluded. Until the analysts can't take the pressure and begin their downgrades, Cramer said he would continue to sit on the sidelines.
Executive Decision: Tim Taft
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Tim Taft, president and CEO of Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI), the Mexican restaurant chain that just posted a penny-a-share earnings beat on a 6.7% rise in same-store revenue. Shares of Fiesta are up 5% since Cramer first mentioned the stock on July 16.
Taft called his company a "well-kept secret" to many investors. That will change over time as Fiesta continues to grow and put up great numbers every quarter.
Taft noted that some of the Miami restaurants are serving 500 cars a day through their drive-thru windows alone. Thanks to eliminating cumbersome products from their menus, their kitchens continue to streamline their operations.
When asked about the growing trend towards Mexican food, Taft said Hispanics continue to be be fastest-growing demographic in America. Beyond that, there are lots of strong regional players that are all attracting customers of all ethnic groups.
Taft said he's confident Fiesta Group will eventually become a national player, but for the time being, it is proving it can expand outside of its home turf of Florida and is currently doing so in Texas.
Cramer called Fiesta Restaurant Group a very exciting story.
Are investors right to be angry with the management of Walgreen (WAG), Allergan (AGN) and Time Warner (TWX) for recently making decisions that sent their shares plummeting? Cramer told viewers the answer depends on whether you're investing for the long term or the short term.
Cramer explained that Walgreen opted not to move its tax status overseas, even though it's perfectly legal for it to do so, because the company didn't want to become the poster child for negative financial engineering. Meanwhile, Allergan's management rejected a hostile takeover bid because it felt that over the long term the company is better off going it alone. The same applies to Time Warner, he continued.
All three CEOs believe their decisions are right for their company over the long term, even if that means shareholders must endure some pain in the short term. But in all three cases, shares ran up in anticipation of the events. If you didn't take profits when you had them, well, that's on you, Cramer concluded, and not on management. You can't blame management for doing what's right over the long term.
ChartWeek: J.C. Penney, Deckers, Michael Kors
Fitzpatrick said Penney's daily chart shows the stock trading in a tight range for months, making new lows but on lighter and lighter volume. The stock's weekly chart displays a reverse-head-and-shoulders formation, which is bullish, leading him to recommend building a position now.
Fitzpatrick also liked the chart of Deckers, noting the daily chart with a cup-and-handle formation, close to its 50- and 200-day moving averages. With the stock drifting higher, Fitzpatrick said he was bullish on Deckers.
Fitzpatrick was not as optimistic on Michael Kors, however, as the stock has been responding to good news with lighter and lighter volume, indicating that shares are quickly running out of steam and are poised for a correction.
Executive Decision: Alan Trefler
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Alan Trefler, chairman and CEO of Pegasystems (PEGA), a business process management software company that trades at just 24 times earnings with a 28% long-term growth rate. Pegasystems just announced a three-cents-a-share earnings miss,
Trefler said that Pegasystems helps companies become more customer-centric and process-centric by streamlining operations. It helps compile data from multiple sources and allows sales teams to execute orders faster and get those orders to fulfillment faster.
When asked about the volatility of Pegasystems' stock, Trefler noted his company sells services on both subscription and perpetual licensing. While it is very transparent about what's going on inside the company, revenue recognition requirements don't always match up with analysts' expectations.
Trefler noted that over 70% of Pegasystems' revenue comes from existing customers, a testament to how happy customers are with Pegasystems.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt