Cramer: Market Headwinds Starting to Die Out?
Chances are you've heard about a massive storm brewing in the stock market. Jim Cramer, however, thinks that kind of talk is full of hot air.
According to skeptics a slew of headwinds are swirling; they say when those forces come together, the wrath could be as terrible as any hurricane. Those skeptics advocate cashing out of the market when it rallies and running for cover.
Jim Cramer, however, has a different kind of forecast. If anything he sees signs that those terrible storm clouds may be starting to lift.
Headwind #1 - Economic Slowdown
"Let's start with the presumption that the U.S. economy must be slowing down," said Cramer. The latest economic data just doesn't support such extreme pessimism.
"The latest durable goods data showed that demand for machinery rose the most in two years. That comes on top of a recent increase in container board, the corrugated stuff that your packages come in, and an increase in the price of steel put through by U.S. Steel and then matched by AK Steel. You can't put through seel price hikes in a weak economy," Cramer said
Headwind #2 – Decreased Business Activity
Although fears about the health of business activity abound, Cramer said look no further than the Dow Jones Transportation Average to assuage those fears. "Today it rallied the most since July of last year!"
"Oh, and there is Cramer fave Kansas City Southern, which zoomed on news that it might be involved in talks to build a major hub to bring domestic oil down to Texas refineries," said Cramer. "I've told you over and over again how important it is to get an outlet for all of the domestic oil we've found, and KSU's becoming the preferred way to play it."
And if you're looking to confirm the moves Cramer said look at the price action in the makers of truck engines and components for trucks such as Cummins and Eaton. "They too are having remarkable runs," he said.
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Headwind #3 – European Ripple
Although market skeptics insist that the financial woes of Europe will hammer the US stock market, Cramer isn't terribly worried right now - at least not by Italy and the potential ripples that may be generated by the political deadlock in Rome.
"Just look at the price action in JPMorgan," said Cramer. "Here's a truly international bank and gains suggest it isn't about to be derailed by anything happening overseas."
Headwind #4 – China Stumbling
Cramer isn't worried by China, either.
Although the HSBC flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) slipped to 50.4 in February Cramer says commentary from Joy Global CEO Michael Sutherlin matters more because it's forward thinking. "And when he spoke on Monday he said that China's is really coming on strong and there is very good demand for commodities around the globe."
Headwind #5 – Cash Strapped Consumers
Cramer also isn't terribly worried about consumer spending getting dragged down by higher prices at the pump and the end of the payroll tax holiday. Cramer, like so many pros, believes numbers speak louder than words, and retailers have been posting strong earnings.
"And if you think retailer earnings are only about holiday shopping, you should think again. That wouldn't explain strength in restaurant stocks such as Darden, the parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster," Cramer said.
Headwind #6 – Government Squabbling
Cramer isn't even that worried about sequestration.
"Huntington Ingalls, the biggest military ship builder, reported a fantastic quarter," said Cramer, "with $6 billion in new business in 2012, including $1 billion awarded just this quarter, giving it a $12 billion backlog."
All told, Cramer sees every reason to feel optimistic about this market. "Look, I'm sure you can come up with more objections to buying stocks. But the bottom line is that the negative presumptions of this market can be rebutted head on."
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