The bull market is hidden in plain sight, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday, but many investors just can't see it because they're looking in the wrong places.
Many professional money managers are just confused, Cramer said. They know that two-thirds of the U.S. economy is service based, yet even with full employment, they see no uptick in retail, restaurants or other places consumers typically go. They have many theories as to where the consumer's money is going -- such as rising health-care costs and student loans -- but few answers.
Cramer offered a different theory. He said there's a generational shift afoot, and to know where the consumer is spending their money is to know where they spend their time… on their smartphones. Yes, phones have replaced shopping as America's favorite pastime, Cramer said, and are ushering in the stay-at-home economy.
Not only have our phones been a windfall for Apple (AAPL) , but they've also provided the platform for Amazon.com (AMZN) to deliver everything we need, for Domino's Pizza (DPZ) to make ordering online the only way to go, and for Netflix (NFLX) to let us binge on our favorite shows.
That's not to say the consumer never leaves the house. But when they do, they shop for their homes at Home Depot (HD) and Home Goods, the TJX Stores (TJX) chain that's knocking it out of the park. The consumer is also visiting theme parks like those owned by Six Flags (SIX) and Walt Disney (DIS) , and they're also going on Carnival Cruises (CCL) .
That's why the only retailers that are thriving are Ulta Beauty (ULTA) , which hit a 52-week high today, as the selfie generation always needs to look their best, along with Walmart (WMT) and Dollar General (DG) , where the few things that Amazon can't deliver fast enough are still affordable.
Meanwhile, on Real Money, Cramer explains how Oracle (ORCL) engineered an earnings beat while at the same time started taking some share from old opponent. Check out his analysis with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Strength to Fly
It's been a terrible environment for retail, but no one told the folks at Canada Goose (GOOS) , the luxury outerwear maker that priced it's IPO at $12.78 a share today and ended the day at $16.08.
Cramer said this maker of fur-lined coats and parkas has a lot going for it and he'd be a buyer, even at current levels. Canada Goose is mainly a wholesaler and only has two flagship locations, but is now expanding into a more lucrative direct-to-consumer model. In the company's 2016 fiscal year, sales grew by 33% and in 2017, gross margins have been expanding.
Money managers love accelerating revenue growth and margins, Cramer reminded viewers, and Canada Goose has both. The company currently sells in only 36 countries and still has a long way to go in saturating the U.S. market, where brand awareness is low.
Cramer was also bullish that Canada Goose is expanding into spring and fall apparel to broaden its appeal. He was less bullish on the stock's price tag, 40 times earnings, and of the company's private equity backers, which will need to sell their shares at some point in the future.
All things considered, Cramer said Canada Goose has a lot to like and he'd be willing to speculate on it at current levels.
The Four Horsemen of Tech
Is it time to take a fresh look at the old "Four Horsemen of Tech"? After last night's strong quarter from Oracle (ORCL) , Cramer said the time may be at hand.
Oracle was finally able to reinvent itself as a cloud-software provider, with cloud revenue rising 200% more than the decline in its legacy software business. That led the company to boost its dividend by 27% and sent shares soaring 6.2% for the day.
While Oracle's transformation took a long time, Cramer noted, Intel (INTC) made the jump in an instant with its recent acquisition of MobileEye (MBLY) , making it a leader in data processing and autonomous vehicles.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) has also transformed itself, from a network equipment provider to one that offers services and cyber security, Cramer said, and many of the incumbent cyber-security companies are already feeling the heat.
Finally, there's Microsoft (MSFT) , which like Oracle, has taken a longer road to the cloud and data services, but appears to have finally arrived.
Fastenal: Hold on Tight
Since the recession, our industrial economy has been in decline, taking shares of Fastenal (FAST) along for the ride. But after a rollercoaster year in 2016, Cramer said, this provider of maintenance, repair and operational supplies may be ready to rise again.
Cramer explained that Fastenal is a classic cyclical stock: one that does best when the economy is expanding. That explains why shares have been on fire since the election, as the promise of more manufacturing and deregulation have created optimism in Fastenal's customer base.
Cramer said while shares are not cheap at 25 times earnings, they're also not expensive if the economy is indeed improving. For proof of that, you only need to look at Fastenal's same-store sales, which have been markedly higher since November.
Cramer and the AAP team take a deep dive into the Arconic (ARNC) proxy battle. Find out what they're advising their investment club members to do, with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Am I Diversified?
In the "Am I Diversified" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.
Cramer blessed this group as a diversified portfolio you can live with.
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