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When big money managers get caught looking the wrong way, look out for big moves in the market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. With the U.S. dollar appearing to have peaked, Cramer explained, fund managers are scrambling for the most beaten-down sector out there, commodities.
That's how a stock like Alcoa (AA) could roar up 10% in a single day and how the beleaguered shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) can shoot up over 17.9%. The fact is, there aren't a lot of commodity makers left anymore, so when the spotlight turns to the cyclicals you can get big moves.
But Cramer warned that playing big rotation moves like today's is best left to the pros. Home gamers, he said, are better off not chasing the big movers but buying slowly over time and only on weakness.
Executive Decision: John Stumpf
Stumpf said while Wall Street may be focused on interest rates, he runs Wells Fargo to perform well in any interest-rate environment. He said Wells Fargo's goal is to do more business with more customers and make a bigger impact in the communities they serve.
Stumpf admitted the oil and gas sector is under a lot of stress at the moment, but he noted that oil and gas accounts for less than 2% of Wells' current loan portfolio. On balance, however, lower oil prices create a lot of benefits in other areas that more than offset any oil-related loan losses. Stumpf was bullish on autos, housing and construction in many areas of the country.
When asked about the bank's stock buyback program, Stumpf said Wells Fargo remains committed to returning capital to shareholders, both through buybacks and its dividend.
Executive Decision: Benno Dorer
Dorer said Clorox continues to focus on the fundamentals, which is why sales in the U.S. were up across every segment this quarter and why Clorox shares have risen 20% over the past year.
Clorox believes in profitable growth, Dorer explained, and that means innovations in all of its brands from its namesake, Clorox, to Hidden Valley, Burt's Bees, Kingsford charcoal and many others. Dorer said brands like Kingsford are seeing solid growth while, while others such as Burt's Bees are taking share in the natural and organic space.
Clorox is not just progressive with its brands, however. It's also forward thinking in its advertising. Dorer said Clorox is spending a full 40% of its advertising budget online and seeing great ROI on social media.
Executive Decision: Greg Creed
Creed explained Yum! Brands will still remain the franchise owner for three great brands around the world and expects to have a 15% return for shareholders, while the new Yum! China will operate solely in the fast-growing Chinese market with a dedicated team running 7,000 locations across two brands.
Overall, Creed said, he feels good about the Chinese market, and about KFC in particular. Meanwhile, here at home, Creed was most excited about Taco Bell, a franchise he said offers great value and resonates strongly with its customer base.
Creed accredited some of Yum!'s strength to falling commodity prices, with low gas prices in particular driving sales. Costs remain under control at Yum!, he said, which is helping margins improve. Yum! also remains committed to its 23 million-share stock buyback program.
Executive Decision: Mark McLaughlin
As his parade of guests continued, Cramer sat down with Mark McLaughlin, chairman, president and CEO of Palo Alto Networks (PANW) , as well as Brent Jones, managing director at Northgate, one of Palo Alto's early investors.
Jones said that Palo Alto's brand is only becoming more significant over time, and the company's platform is increasingly turning the bad guys away. McLaughlin added that one of the key factors for hackers is how long it takes to breach a system. If the hack takes too long, hackers tend to move on, and that's why his company only makes it harder and harder to breach its systems.
When asked about the future, Jones said we will never know what the bad guys will come up with next, but Palo Alto is a leader in finding out as quickly as possible. That's why Palo Alto will remain a dominant player in cyber security for a long time to come.
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