Sometimes, seemingly unrelated events have a lot in common, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. Case in point, yesterday's unveiling of Apple's (AAPL) HomePod audio device and today's announcement that J. Crew's famed CEO, Mickey Drexler, is stepping down.
Cramer said that Drexler is retail legend, having turned around Gap Stores (GPS) before taking the helm at the privately-held J. Crew. At Crew, Drexler was also able to work his magic, that was until recently.
Same-store sales have been in decline at J. Crew for 11 of the past 12 quarters, as brand loyalty, especially in fashion, continues to erode. Cramer said it doesn't matter whether you're Crew, Macy's (M) , which just fell 8.2% to new lows, or even Lululemon Athletica (LULU) , differentiating yourself in today's over-retailed environment is an uphill battle.
Among the rare exceptions to buck this trend is PVH (PVH) , Cramer noted.
But then there's Apple, the Action Alerts PLUS holding that has among the best brand loyalty in the world. Apple's new HomePod audio device is nearly twice as expensive as rivals from Amazon.com (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) , and won't be shipping for another few months, but Cramer said you can rest assured, it will be the hot gadget to have this holiday season.
Meanwhile, over on Real Money, Cramer says his only real worry about the Apple HomePod is whether he'll get too many of them. Read more and get a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Drilling Into the Oil Market
Is it time to rethink the bull case for crude oil? According to Cramer, it is.
If the news that several Middle East nations are cutting off ties with Qatar didn't send oil prices sharply higher, can anything? Cramer said there is one thing that can, but it won't happen for at least another year.
The key to the oil market are the deep water drilling rigs, Cramer said, those that have been producing monster amounts of oil but which will begin to see declining production starting next year. When crude oil prices plunged two years ago, just about all of the new deep water projects stopped. This points toward -- finally -- a stabilization.
In the meantime, oil prices are under control of the speculators, who still hold record levels of long contracts they need to unwind. That's why Cramer said he expects today's rally in oil to fade by the end of the week.
Executive Decision: Palo Alto Networks
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks (PANW) , the cybersecurity company that just posted a six-cents-a-share earnings beat with excellent full-year guidance. Shares of Palo Alto are up 30% over the past two months after bottoming in April.
McLaughlin said that the sales organization restructuring that began after last quarter's earnings disappointment is still in its early innings but has already produced results that were better than expected. He said Palo Alto has been acquiring new customers from competitors. His company added over 2,000 new customers this quarter.
Palo Alto also has strong partnerships with other cybersecurity partners, McLaughlin added, because tight integration with other parts of the ecosystem only helps customers get up and running faster.
When asked about those customers, McLaughlin said that many organizations simply don't have the resources to manage everything that cybersecurity entails, which is why Palo Alto's platform helps to increase automation and orchestration of the many tools required.
Finally, McLaughlin noted that recent executive orders from the White House compelling companies to pay more attention to security is a good thing, helping to increase awareness of the problem.
Off The Charts
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Ed Ponsi over the charts of the financials, which have been languishing as of late.
Ponsi first looked at the chart of the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) as compared to the S&P 500. He noted that it's unusual for these two indices to diverge, but that's exactly what they've been doing for the past three weeks.
Looking at a daily chart of just the Financial ETF reveals the dreaded head-and-shoulders pattern, which indicates that if the financials cannot hold the $22.90 level, they're likely to see a 10% decline.
Ponsi felt it's not time to panic however, just to use caution as it appears that only the broader market's strength is serving as the backstop for these falling financials. Cramer agreed, saying that the financials appear to just be digesting their post-election gains as they wait for the tax reforms and deregulations promised by Trump.
Executive Decision: e.l.f. Beauty
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Tarang Amin, chairman and CEO of e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) , the cosmetics maker that has seen its shares struggle after recently issuing 8.4 million shares at $27 a share.
Amin said that e.l.f. has reiterated its guidance for 20% sales growth this year and the company remains confident in the strategy of making high-quality cosmetics accessible to everyone.
Amin continued by noting that his company is now using machine learning to draw insights from the 130,000 product reviews they have on their website to help determine what customers want next. Those insights have helped launch 21 new products this quarter alone, he added, all of which are available on the company's website.
Cramer and the AAP team say Apple's HomePod won't overshadow sales of the iPhone; it was a necessary move aimed at further expanding the Apple ecosystem. Find out what they're telling their investment club members with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
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