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Suddenly, we find ourselves in an era of good feelings for stocks, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. Just 10 days ago, the pressure was on to sell everything, Cramer said. Today, the narrative seems to have changed.
What's different? Cramer said crude prices have strengthened, and that's created some much needed stability in the oil patch. There are also reported merger talks between Honeywell (HON) and United Technologies (UTX) , which is breathing new life into the M&A market.
More importantly, there is some clarity on the U.S. political scene after the latest round of primaries over the weekend. With front runners Clinton and Trump solidifying their leads, the possibility of two pro-business candidates running for President seems like more of a possibility.
Even on the earnings front there's good news, Cramer concluded, as stocks like John Deere (DE) and Nordstrom (JWN) were able to rally 1.8% and 4.4%, respectively, despite having reported miserable quarters just last week.
Gap’s 'Toxic' Problem
What happens when a comeback story runs of out of steam? It isn't pretty, Cramer told viewers, as he examined the rise and fall of Gap Stores (GPS) , a stock that soared 67% in 2012, 26% in 2013 and another 8% in 2014, only to plummet 41% last year.
Cramer explained that after languishing for almost a decade, Gap was able to mount a sizable turnaround, implementing a number of new initiatives and technologies that made its brands relevant again. During this time, same store sales were rising, along with the company's top and bottom lines.
But in early 2015, Gap began to miss its targets for both revenue and earnings. By July of that year, same-store sales began decreasing, prompting analyst downgrades. That was followed by a back-to-school and winter season that was difficult for every retailer but dismal for Gap.
While shares of Gap have rallied almost 20% in just the past week and trade at just 11 times earnings, Cramer said the company has done little to inspire any confidence that it has its act together. There is simply no reason to own the stock, he concluded, going so far as to call it "toxic."