Unexpected explosions perilous for bulls
A new phenomenon in sweeping across the market and it threatens to make it even harder for bulls to gain any territory.
That is, a number of unexpected reversals have caused trades to blow-up, in turn leaving even the most optimistic of investors to question their buys.
"These reversals are shocking people," Cramer said. "They call into question whether it's even possible for bulls to make money in the market at this very moment."
Following are some examples:
Buffalo Wild Wings: "We got a nice surprise last night with Buffalo Wild Wings reporting a three cent upside surprise," Cramer said. "Plus it beat on same store sales."
Thinking that these earnings were a win for the bulls, buyers drove shares almost 3 percent higher in the after hours. "But then during the conference call later on, the company indicated that this current quarter got off to a weaker start. Quickly thereafter Goldman Sachs lowered its price target.
Bullish investors who put money to work in what they initially thought were better than expected earnings were quickly burned.
Buffalo Wild Wings closed 10% lower on Wednesday.
Ralph Lauren: Shares of Ralph Lauren initially spiked after the company reported better than expected earnings. Buyers rushed into the stock believing it had followed in the footsteps of Michael Kors, which reported an outstanding quarter.
However, early buyers quickly came to regret their decision. "Turns out, deep in guidance was a mention that gross margins are going to be less than expected," Cramer noted. Next thing you know Ralph Lauren's got a 15 point swing on its hands."
Again, bulls were left licking their wounds.
Estee Lauder: Buying shares of Estee Lauder as a bet that the rich would keep spending also turned out to be a losing investment. Although total sales rose 3% to slightly over $3 billion, "the company said that the pace of the increases can't be maintained, because of slowing in China, Hong Kong and the United States. That was a stunner, and the stock has been hammered down three and a half points," Cramer said.
Again, what looked promising took a nasty turn for bulls.
Wynn: Of all the bombshells in the market Cramer thinks Wynn may be the most surprising. "Just four days ago, in its earnings release, this company gave us an all systems go outlook on Macau," Cramer explained. "Then last night we get January Macau numbers and they're soft."
Cramer believes that China is a big x-factor in this market, and anything that calls China into question is immediately met with selling.
That was certainly the case with Wynn where investors chose to sell first and ask questions later. "I believe that January was an aberration and I like Wynn," Cramer said. But that doesn't do anything to stem the selling.
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"For all of these companies, the earnings and sales were supposed to be in the bag. They even looked in the bag. But they weren't," Cramer said.
And bulls who established long positions ended up making a costly mistake. "Bulls who took action too soon were simply drilled."
As a result, it's possible that buyers will become even more reluctant to enter the market. "If you're a bull, it makes for tough sledding," Cramer said.
However, if you must put money to work Cramer is not without ideas. "I'd give another look to the defensive stocks," Cramer said. "Hershey, Kellogg, and PepsiCo have all caught a bid higher." But tread cautiously. It's not the time to get too excited."
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