CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday that bears — investors who try to predict and seek to profit from a stock price’s downward trajectory — will try to use this earnings season to encourage others to dump their holdings.
They’ll use “specifically disappointing earnings” to deride the market, the “Mad Money” host said. “They see weakness, and they’re telling you that stocks will go down when you get that weakness.”
However, those investors, he said, are missing out on one key ally: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who has no plans to raise interest rates in the near future and is considering whether economic data warrants the central bank to ease monetary policy instead.
That gives an advantage to the bulls, even though the rate hike last December caused an inversion in short- and longer-term bond yields, which is a trusted recession signal, Cramer said.
One exception to the bear thesis is cyclical stocks, because lower short rates “have historically been good for these kinds of stocks,” he continued. The price of cyclical stocks follow the business cycle and macroeconomic changes in the overall economy, with some examples including car manufacturers, airlines, and furniture retailers.
“Investors will look right through the earnings valley because they know the Fed is now their friend,” Cramer said.
Micron presents another issue for the bears, he added. The stock rallied into its late-June earnings report on hopes that management would be bullish in the short-term, but instead, they were bullish about the long-term, the host said.
The stock has since surged nearly 36% above $44 as of Monday’s market close.
“Keep in mind, this move occurred without any tangible sign from the Chinese that they’re going to buy more of Micron’s semiconductors,” Cramer said.
The host said he doesn’t believe that all earnings reports will be strong this season, but weak earnings may not automatically turn the bulls into pessimists.
“The bulls now have the Fed on their side and that makes a big difference,” Cramer said. “I think the Fed may be too powerful an opponent for the bears to overcome.”
A guide to earnings
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
As earnings season ramps up, Cramer said it’s not the time to try to game the results and trade stocks because you might get burned.
He felt differently during his hedge fund days in the 1990s, but the times and regulation rules have changed in favor of a more equal playing field.
“You need to understand that earnings season is devastating for traders,” the host said. “Don’t get discouraged. Earnings season is always rough … The important thing is that you shouldn’t try to hit home runs this week, because you’re much more likely to end up striking out.”
The major U.S. indexes all posted modest gains during the session Monday, inching up between 0.02% and 0.17% each as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had another record day.
Instead of depending on luck, Cramer gave viewers a guide to help navigate earnings season.
Get his investing advice here
Golden age of software
Sanjay Poonen, COO, VMware
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Cramer chats with Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer of one of the host’s cloud king companies VMWare.
While discussing the company’s June earnings report, Poonen said his cloud computing and virtualization software firm, which Dell has a majority stake in, is riding the “golden age of software where software [is] defining everything.”
Catch the full discussion here
Stocks to watch in the second half
Customers at a McDonald’s restaurant
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
With the economic slowdown in mind, Cramer took time to review the stocks that he says big fund investors are turning their attentions to for the rest of the year.
Money managers at the big financial institutions have the most influence on prices on Wall Street, and understanding how those traders think is the best way to gauge which way that assets on the market will swing.
The host ran through six stocks that he says viewers should be keeping their eyes on.
“These six slowdown … stocks have been anointed by Wall Street. They aren’t going away,” Cramer said. “They’ll be the second-half winners that the big money guys just can’t get enough of. Memorize them, people, because I bet they keep winning for the rest of the year.”
Read about the six picks here
Cramer’s lightning round: ‘This is the No. 1 5G name’
In Cramer’s lightning round, the “Mad Money” host hears from callers and gives his thoughts about their stock picks of the day.
Marvell Technology: “This is the No. 1 5G name. Now remember, this is a company that has reinvented itself in a very short period of time and it wins with Huawei or without. Buy, buy, buy. My charitable trust has been buying it all the way down.”
General Motors: “I do not like anything that’s auto. … I’ve gotta tell you I’m not against it, but understand it’s hard to get behind the motor companies…”
DuPont de Nemours: “I am worried about DuPont. My charitable trust owns it. I know they’re going to split it up into many different pieces. I am worried about litigation. At the same time I’m kind of tired of it, so to speak. It doesn’t seem to ever break out. So I’m going to say” don’t buy, don’t buy.
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of DuPont de Nemours.