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Cramer explained this negativity is coming at us from four different directions -- continued weakness in China; the Federal Reserve turning from friend to foe; talk of "peaks" in the auto, housing and cell phone markets; and, of course, the oil glut.
But despite all those negatives, and a weak open for the markets, the facts proved investors wrong. For one thing, it finally got cold outside, which sent oil higher and buoyed retailers stocked to the brim with winter apparel. Consumer packaged goods stocks also headed higher, as did Eli Lilly (LLY) in the pharma sector.
Indeed, the bulls snatched the day right from the bear's mouth, Cramer concluded. That bodes well given how many investors had seemingly written off 2016 before it even began.
Cramer's Top 5
Are the top S&P 500 sweethearts from 2015 also the darlings of 2016? Cramer examined the top five performers.
Netflix (NFLX) was the biggest winner in 2015, up 129%, and Cramer said this company, along with number two Amazon.com (AMZN) , up 119%, are momentum names that don't play be the same rules as other stocks. These companies have growth and lots of it.
Next on the list was Activision Blizzard (ATVI) , up 92%, and graphics chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) , up 63% for 2015. Cramer said Activision is fueled by great games and its acquisition of King Digital, while Nvidia is riding on the success of several gaming platforms.
Fifth on the S&P list was Cablevision (CVC) , up 54%, but since those gains came on the heels of a takeover, Cramer went with number six, Hormel Foods (HRL) , also up 54%. Hormel soared in 2015 thanks to smart acquisitions.
Cramer said he'd still be a buyer of any of these names, but only on further market-induced weakness.
Cramer's Bottom 5
Continuing with his look at last year's S&P 500 index, Cramer also took a peak at the index's five worst performers to see if there were any bargains to be had.
The three worst-performing stocks in the S&P last year were, not surprisingly, oil related, with Chesapeake Energy (CHK) , falling 77%, Consol Energy (CNX) , down 76% and Southwest Energy (SWN) , down 73%. Cramer said he can't make a case for any of these names without higher oil prices.
Next on the list was the only thing more toxic than oil last year, copper, with Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) falling 71%. Cramer said he couldn't make a case for owning this stock either.
Rounding out the list was Fossil (FOSL) , down 67% in 2015. Cramer said while Fossil is not related to fossil fuels, the estimates are still too high and it's not too late to sell.
Off the Charts
In the "Off the Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Bob Lang over the charts of some popular beverage stocks, which have traditionally been go-to defensive names for many investors.
Lang said the daily chart of Pepsico (PEP) was bullish, with the stock building a base after its 8% gain last year. The relative strength indicator (RSI) and Chaikin money flow (CMF) are both trending higher.
Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) is also bullish, according to Lang, with a 30% gain last year and a strong CMF this year.
Coca-Cola (KO) was also a mixed bag, according to Lang, also below its 50-day moving average.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said investors need to learn from last summer's Chinese stock market meltdown and apply those lessons to today.
The Chinese don't play by Western or democratic rules, Cramer reminded viewers. When the Chinese Communist party leaders want to rig the market or artificially prop up prices, they do it. There are no checks or balances.
That's why it often seems as if the Chinese are running their stock market by trial and error. In most cases, they are.
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