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Stocks aren't cheap yet, Jim Cramer cautioned his Mad Money viewers Wednesday after the markets plunged over 566 points, only to stage a powerful midday rally that cut those losses in half. The markets may be hideous, Cramer continued, but they're not hideous enough.
At its lowest point today, the U.S. markets were down 12% for the year. That number is truly awful but it also happens to be right in line with how the markets around the globe are faring.
Cramer said that at a time when every other country is doing its best to stimulate their economies, our Federal Reserve is slamming the brakes on ours. In fact, the Fed's current stance is eerily similar to the one it took in 1937, the one that caused a recession inside the Great Depression that was only stymied by World War II.
Cramer also noted that last year many companies were reporting two sets of earnings: their actual earnings and those on a constant currency basis to show what they would have earned without such a strong U.S. dollar. That trend seems to have disappeared this year, however. Companies are simply laying out their disappointing numbers with no silver lining.
The markets are likely to continue in this no man's land until money managers around the world can make sense of these new realities, Cramer concluded.
Cramer Checks His List
When will the markets finally make an investable bottom instead of just short-term bounces? Cramer revisited his "Finding a Bottom" checklist to see if any of the needed ingredients for a bottom have materialized. His findings? Not good.
In fact, Cramer said many of the items have simply gotten worse. A change in the Fed's narrative was one such item, but just this past Friday the New York Fed governor gave an "all systems go" speech for more rate hikes.
Then there's the U.S. political environment, which has only created more uncertainty in the markets. Likewise with China getting worse, commodities heading lower and oil continuing its historic decline.
Cramer said the only item on his checklist that is a good sign for the markets is investor sentiment getting worse. Once everyone gives up, Cramer reminded viewers, only then can a real bottom be made.
Unfortunately, sentiment alone is not enough to sustain a rally, Cramer concluded, which is why there are more down days ahead.
Check Out Telecoms
Investors looking for some recession-proof stocks in a turbulent market may want to take a look at the telecommunications companies, Cramer told viewers. Which company, however, depends on your risk profile.
No matter what the political landscape or the current interest rate environment, there's one thing that remains constant, Cramer said: Americans can't live without their cell phones. That bodes well for both Verizon (VZ) , which is off 13% from its highs with a 5.1% yield, and T-Mobile (TMUS) , down 14% from its peak.
Verizon is perfect for older investors looking for less risk, Cramer said. The company offers a bountiful yield, along with consistent 3.7% revenue growth and an inexpensive valuation of just 11 times earnings.
T-Mobile is perfect for younger investors that can tolerate greater risk from this high-flier with 11.2% revenue growth and a higher valuation of 23 times earnings.
Executive Decision: Mark Hurd
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle (ORCL) , the enterprise software company.
Hurd said Oracle's accelerating revenue growth stems from its cloud-based offerings that are getting better all the time, along with its salesforce getting better at selling cloud solutions. He said the cloud is not cannibalizing Oracle's on-premise businesses but augmenting them, giving Oracle a huge competitive advantage.
When asked about a recent comment by Workday's (WDAY) CEO, calling Oracle a "dinosaur," Hurd said that in head-to-head fights, Oracle comes out on top. He said scale is often equated with being slow, but for Oracle having scale is an advantage.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on the newly ignited price wars breaking out between Iran and pretty much every other oil producer in the world.
Cramer said that when Iran was allowed to begin selling its oil again this weekend, it wasted no time essentially offering a buy-one, get-one sale to undercut pricing and steal market share.
This newfound price cutting should have everyone jumping for joy, but with so many worried about oil producers and the banks that lent those oil companies money, the latest oil price wars are turning out to be a whole lot of nothing for everyone.
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