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Tuesday was a relief rally, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. Today's move, however, is a welcome change that is also likely permanent.
Cramer said sometimes investors are willing to pay a higher price today because yesterday's price was just too low. That was certainly the case today in several sectors, where investors were re-evaluating what stocks are actually worth. Indeed, the markets have all but forgotten about Brexit, expect to note that thanks to Britain's poor decision, the U.S. will now enjoy low interest rates for a lot longer that anticipated.
Today's rally was also driven by deals, with a takeover bid for Diamond Resorts (DRII) sending those shares up 23.7%, leading to a strong rally in all the travel names including Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) up 4.1%, Marriott Vacations (VAC) up 4.5% and Hyatt Hotels (H) up 4%. Even the airlines were sparked into action, with Cramer fave Southwest Airlines (LUV) spiking 3.9%.
Strong earnings from General Mills (GIS) led to boosts in Kellogg (K) and Kraft Heinz (KHC) , while Nike (NKE) rebounded sharply from early losses after investors learned the company has cleaned up its inventory problems. Rivals Under Armour (UA) and Lululemon Athletica (LULU) were also up on the day.
Executive Decision: Cliff Hudson
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Cliff Hudson, chairman and CEO of burger chain Sonic (SONC) , which recently posted a disappointing 1-cent-a-share earnings beat on weaker-than-expected revenue with a rare decline in same-store sales growth.
Hudson said while Sonic is confident in the initiatives it has put in place, the company has been less certain about the shift in consumer behavior seen in May. Promotions have reversed some of the slumping sales, but sales of ice cream and soft drinks continue to lag expectations.
When asked about competition, Hudson noted Sonic has always had a ton of competition, from convenience stores to Dairy Queen, all of which want a piece of Sonic's sales.
Turning to the issue of wage inflation, Hudson said most of the significant wage inflation has been in states where Sonic doesn't have large footprints, thus the impacts have been minimal.
Hudson did tout Sonic's "Limeades For Learning" program, which is committed to donating $15 million to teachers in the communities they serve over next five years. In addition to education, Sonic is also committed to its stock buyback program, which currently stands at $155 million.
Retail Survival Guide
In his "Retail Survival Guide" segment, Cramer took a look at six ailing department stores to see which ones have what it takes to survive. He compared Kohl's (KSS) , Macy's (M) , Nordstrom (JWN) , Dillard's (DDS) , J.C. Penney (JCP) and Sears Holdings (SHLD) , all of which are well off their 2015 highs.
In his analysis, Cramer ranked each of the companies against four metrics, their decline in both sales and earnings, the strength of their balance sheets and their strategic flexibility to ward off Amazon.com (AMZN) .
On the revenue front, both Nordstrom and J.C. Penney are declining the least, while Macy's and Sears are declining the most. Positions change on the earnings front, however, with Penney and Macy's faring the best, with Nordstrom and Sears bringing up the rear.
As for the strength of their balance sheers, Cramer gave Dillard's the highest marks, with Nordstrom coming in second. The worst of the bunch were Penney and Sears, both of which have mountains of debt.
Finally, on the flexibility metric, Cramer felt Nordstrom and Penney were again in the best position to compete, while Dillard's and Sears were in the worst positions.
Adding up all of the scores, Cramer concluded that Nordstrom and J.C. Penney were in the best shape, with Macy's and Kohl's tied for fifth and Sears a distant last place. He said that he would not be a buyer of any department store long term, but for a trade Nordstrom and Penney may see some short-term lift.
Executive Decision: Martin Richenhagen
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Martin Richenhagen, chairman, president and CEO of farm equipment maker Agco (AGCO) , which today announced a $340 million acquisition in the seed and grain processing space.
Richenhagen debuted one of Agco's newest tractors, costing $450,000, which he proclaimed could do the work of two tractors from rival John Deere (DE) while using less fuel. The tractor was a result of Agco purchasing the farm equipment business of Caterpillar (CAT) .
When asked for a market outlook, Richenhagen said he expects to see a bottom in the agriculture business in 2016 with growth returning next year in 2017. He said commodity prices are stabilizing and he's optimistic on Argentina and the possibility of growth in Russia.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said underneath all of the Brexit turmoil is a hidden winner, China, which has rallied 2.7% since the debacle.
Not only are Chinese stocks rallying, but the Baltic freight index is showing that China is importing more, while strong moves in both oil and copper confirm the trend. Cramer noted that Carnival Cruises (CCL) and Nike (NKE) had bullish things to say about the Chinese consumer recently, which is another great sign for the health of the Chinese economy.
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