3 Reasons Not to Be Gloomy About the Stock Market
Posted at 3:11 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 15, 2015
This market's struggling between the notion of bargain-hunting in the seemingly broken retailers and restaurants or sticking with the major trend internationals.
It's also befuddled by the banks as rates have fallen so hard off some very weak macro data. The banks need rates to go higher to make more money, so the group's being sold aggressively.
It's also befuddled by the banks as rates have fallen so hard along with the thesis of higher rates, something that seemed to make sense with the weaker industrial production numbers as well as the downbeat consumer confidence survey.
I say cheer up, as long as the dollar stays weak, oil remains calm and interest rates are tame, I can't be gloomy. Plus the fact that the transports are bouncing, something that seemed inconceivable even early this morning, makes me think we are in a more benign environment than many may think.
What's working nicely? I liked the UPS (UPS) upgrade this morning from Goldman Sachs (GS). They seem to have gotten the surge pricing right for peak moments -- and the company's European business is getting stronger. It's well behind the group and I think it works.
Finally, the profit-taking in Cisco (CSCO) seems over and I think the stock's now on its path to the mid-$30s.
I'd buy it right here.
At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long CSCO and MRK.
IBM's Watson Is a Fantastic Sales Call
Posted at 5:19 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Can Watson move the needle for IBM (IBM)?
I don't think anyone believes it can or will. It's only a small portion of a large company. It has some terrific uses, but mostly in health care from what I saw, although that's a giant category. And there are competitors, including Metamind.io, a start-up that has a very compelling bead on the social media information that Watson reads.
But Watson's less of an earnings per share play than it is a metaphor. You see, unlike most companies in the situation IBM finds itself in (with a slowly declining core business), IBM is working to offset that with a rapidly advancing cloud-based effort that will make sense of a tsunami of big data, help interpret it and more importantly, help predict it.
I think Watson, basically, is a fantastic sales call. As someone who sold at Goldman Sachs and taught selling, I would love to be able to demo Watson for people. I would love to show a company the capabilities that Watson has to figure out ways to make a business better.
Let's say you're an IBM sales person and you want to get in front of a chief marketing officer for a major company. I don't know how that CMO could resist taking a spin with Watson. How could you not want to figure out what it can help you figure out?
Maybe you are trying to figure out patterns that aren't obvious to the naked eye about how many cupcakes are sold when the temperature is below 32, or what people across the country think about a new commercial in all venues, or the order patterns for natural and organic vs. GMO in three states in the south; why not give it a whirl?
I think you need to have sold something in your life to recognize the value of this Watson ecosystem.
For example, we have a huge number of orphan drug companies on Mad Money and they are always trying to get the medicine to the patients. However, a lot of the docs out there don't know that there are trials going on, and others don't even know how to diagnose using the symptoms in front of them. To me, Watson's the antidote to both.
Watson's like those scenes in House where they sit around the table and try to figure out the disease except it's empirical, not anecdotal, and wherever there's a trial going on you can get actual answers. As medicine gets more and more personal, I think the whole system from the doctor's office to the emergency room, to the rest of the hospital, will benefit from Watson. It is pretty easy to see why, if you are UnitedHealth (UNH) or Cigna (CI), you want doctors to use Watson so you don't end up taking care of a patient the wrong way, meaning the more expensive, least effective way.
Watson's a surer bet than anything else out there for that kind of analysis. I would love to call on any hospital chain or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or any country's health care system with Watson as my wingman.
So, it's not a gimmick. It's a door opener that allows you to brainstorm, and perhaps even save lives, at least when it comes to health care, and improve the bottom line when it comes to cutting out wasteful polling and test marketing.
Sometimes that's enough to impress a potential client or keep one -- and I think Watson can do a darned good job of both.
At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the stocks mentioned.