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Right now we are dealing with three different stock markets masked as one, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday, and each one must be treated differently.
The first market are those stocks like Time Warner (TWX) , living, breathing companies that are creating value no matter what the Federal Reserve does or where the price of oil happens to be. Cramer praised Time Warner's tie-up with AT&T (T) , as it was a full $22 a share higher than previous offers for the company, all of which were rejected. Cramer also called out T-Mobile (TMUS) as a highlight of the day, saying the company "crushed it" with blowout earnings that sent shares soaring 9.5%.
The second market consists of stocks that consumers just can't live without. Stocks like Facebook (FB) , Amazon.com (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, also control their own destinies and couldn't care less about an interest-rate hike.
But then there is the third market, Cramer continued, those stocks that DO trade in lock-step with the latest economic news. That's why apparel maker VF Corp (VFC) lost 2.9% on the day, and the company reported weakness across the board, as a fickle consumer chose to purchase elsewhere. Likewise with Kimberly-Clark (KMB) , which also reported weaker than expected results. The weakness in Kimberly did have one positive however: Investors took shares of Pepsico (PEP) , another Action Alerts PLUS name, higher as that company still has strong organic growth.
M&A Monday: What's the Big Deal?
Now that the AT&T and Time Warner deal has been announced, what should investors do if they own either stock? Cramer said he wouldn't buy either company.
While Cramer commended Time Warner for bringing out tremendous value for shareholders, he said the AT&T deal is likely to face many regulatory hurdles and may require unpalatable divestitures to get the deal done. Regulators have nothing to lose by denying the merger, he said, and the old system of fairness and due process seems to have been throw out the window since the financial crisis.
Cramer said he's also skeptical of the $85 billion price tag, which screams of desperation, and of the over-optimistic comments from AT&T management, which up until now has no experience in the content business.
From a business perspective, the deal admittedly makes sense, Cramer said. Interest rates are low and competitors like Verizon (VZ) and Comcast (CMCSA) are both making similar acquisitions, but the question remains as to whether any synergies can actually be realized.
Cramer said investors can get better income and growth opportunities elsewhere, and he wouldn't be a buyer of either of these stocks given the amount of uncertainty surrounding this merger.
Selfie Stocks: You Look Mahvelous
People have never been under more pressure to look their best, Cramer told viewers, and that's largely due to the rise in popularity of the selfie. In fact, more than one million selfies are taken every day, and that's just by folks between the ages of 18 and 24. Vanity has always been en vogue, but as more and more people document their lives on their smart phones, that trend is accelerating. That's why Cramer introduced a basket of "Selfie Stocks" that are surging.
The first stock to make the list was Allergan (AGN) , the drug maker that has become the leader in aesthetic medicine, branching out far beyond Botox. People will also need a good smile for their selfies, so look at Align Technologies (ALGN) , makers of InvisAlign braces. That stock is already up 36% for the year.
Then there are the makeup stocks. Here Cramer re-recommended e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) , the cosmetics maker with a strong online presence, and Ulta Salon (ULTA) , which has a strong retail presence with 928 stores that last quarter posted 14.4% same store sales growth.
Cramer said Estee Lauder (EL) should also be doing well in this environment, but after a series of earnings misses, that stock remains in the doghouse.
Take a Bite of B&G Foods
Investors looking for a safe way to play the beleaguered food stocks should consider B&G Foods (BGS) , Cramer told viewers, turning the spotlight onto a company that's already up more than 40% for the year.
You may know B&G for its many brands, like Cream of Wheat, Ortega, Green Giant, and its namesake, B&G pickles. The company has always been known as a smart acquirer of high-quality, but neglected, brands that it then breathes new life into. But that strategy hit a roadblock in recent years when B&G struggled to impress Wall Street with growth after it passed the anniversary of each new deal.
But B&G reversed the trend in August of last year, when it acquired Green Giant; news that instantly sent shares up 10%. Sales have continued to be robust ever since.
B&G next reports this Thursday, and Cramer warned this will be the fourth quarter that includes the Green Giant earnings. But Cramer said he's not worried as the company has already announced a deal to acquire ACH Spices, which should drive growth for the next four quarters.
Shares of B&G trade at a well-deserved 20 times earnings according to Cramer and he was also impressed by the company's bountiful 3.5% dividend yield.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on MGM Resorts (MGM) , Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) , Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) , Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) , Alcoa (AA) , Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and HP (HPQ) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said while the AT&T and Time Warner deal may be questionable at best, there are other mergers out there that make perfect sense.
Rockwell Collins (COL) purchase of B/E Aerospace (BEAV) is a logical move that can streamline costs, Cramer said, and he loves the deal. Likewise with TD Ameritrade (AMTD) acquiring rival Scottrade. That deal is a win for everyone, Cramer said.
Even the take-under of Genworth Financial (GNW) is a good one when you consider that stock has doubled from where it was just last summer.
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