Posted at 3:36 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016
Sometimes you just can't out-think things. Sometimes you just need to watch the interviews on the show and you will get a real good feel about what will happen.
Take today's miserable selloff in agricultural equipment maker Deere (DE - Get Report) . Here's a stock that was just hammered on a weak quarter, down more than three bucks, and I have to think: Did anyone hear anything that AGCO's (AGCO - Get Report) CEO Martin Richenhagen had to say the other day when he was on Mad Money? Do people think the weakness he described in his sales would not carry over to Deere? I mean, these are farm equipment companies, not medical equipment companies, and they have the same strapped customers.
There was no reason in hell that you should have thought things were going any better for Deere than AGCO. You just needed to listen.
At the same time, we have been bemoaning the sorry state of the mall department stores for some time and how incredibly difficult it is to compete with Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) . Sure enough, Nordstrom (JWN - Get Report) , which had started to act better of late, came out and said it still has to spend too much money vs. what it can make in its online division. At the same time, VF Corp. (VFC) had to guide down on sales today when it reported. Hmmm, I see a pattern here. Clothing's just not selling like it used to, and if it is selling, it seems like people are buying it on Amazon. No wonder the online giant went up five today. You just can't compete against the darned thing unless you have very specialized merchandise, which few seem to do. (Amazon is part of TheStreet's Growth Seeker portfolio.)
Or how about semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT - Get Report) , with a stock that rallied almost 7% today. It was hard not to be bullish about this stock when Lam Research (LRCX - Get Report) CEO Martin Anstice came on recently and told you this is one of the most robust times he could ever recall in the space. If the customers are buying from Lam, there's a pretty decent chance they are also going to be buying from Applied Materials.
Finally, let's discuss Yahoo! (YHOO) . Exactly two weeks ago today, we heard from Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon (VZ - Get Report) , who told us his company wants to make a bid for Yahoo!'s assets. He didn't hem, he didn't haw, he just came out and said it. We also interviewed Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer recently and she said what to do with the company's assets is up to the board.
So, you have the largest telco company, Verizon, which bought AOL, telling you it basically wants to buy Yahoo!, and you have a CEO who doesn't deny that assets are for sale. Should we be shocked that the company has formed a committee to consider Verizon's overtures and that of others? How revelatory is that to those who saw the McAdam interview. I think Yahoo! goes higher.
I know this market can be incredibly difficult to divine and 2016 has been a nightmare year. But can we just stipulate one thing? When trends are very pronounced, so pronounced that execs come on the show and tell you what they are about to do or what's happening in their industry, should we really just ignore their comments?
No, we should profit from them, or at least avoid the losses, and in every one of these cases I think the possibilities and the opportunities were there to be had.
Posted at 6:37 a.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016
It's incredible. You break the win streak and suddenly you hear about how China is really, this time, going to fall apart. You hear about all of the people who are just in cash. You listen to tales of those who can't believe oil isn't at $5.
It's always the same.
It never changes.
It's why, sometime, I am in total disbelief about what I read and what I hear after a selloff occurs after a couple of good days.
Obviously, all we really want to hear from right now were people who went 200% long on Thursday last. They were the right ones. Those are people who can tell us something. They can admonish us. They can straighten us out. They can tell us what they see. I am happy to learn from them.
Instead, we get those who talk their books who were wrong 48 hours ago, but now that we had a down day are going to be right as rain.
Here's where I come out. I think that things are better than we think, but that for every Panera (PNRA) there is a Jack In The Box (JACK - Get Report) (they are both part of the Action Alerts PLUS charity portfolio) and for every Google (GOOGL - Get Report) there is a Yahoo! (YHOO) and for every Tableau Software (DATA) there is a Red Hat (RHT), and that Growth Seeker portfolio name Amazon.com (AMZN) is really wiping out most of retail except a couple of big boxes, of which Nordstrom (JWN - Get Report) is not a big box, at least after last evening. Of course, there are some fence-sitters. I didn't care for Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) , but it wasn't the disaster it looked, except when it comes to online.
But the most important concern I have is that we not go back to talking about the "macro" when it comes to individual stocks, because this whole period has been about winners and losers within ETFs, not in ETFs.
If oil's down, all stocks go down, but then some come back very hard ,much harder than others, even if they are in the same segment. So, please, if you are going to join the discourse, don't say how right you are going to be if you just bet against or sat out the three-day monster move. That's of no help.
Even as I am sure, if the market's down again today, you will no doubt be on the cover of a magazine or be giving a big interview about the collapse of what you hate, never mentioning that had you just bought what you hated four days ago, you could be done for the year with all of the profits you just made.
At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long PNRA, JACK and GOOGL.