“The consumer is alive and pretty well,” Cramer announced Thursday, no matter what the pundits say.
The better-than-expected retails sales numbers that surprised Wall Street today, and helped push the Dow up 61 points, were met with jeers, as analysts spoke of a “mixed picture,” a “subpar performance” and a tough business environment.
That’s funny, though, because all 13 of the key retailers that Cramer follows reported big increases. And the results were the same across the board: at high-end Nordstrom , low-end Ross Stores and middle-of-the road Macy’s and Kohl’s .
Look at how the analysts reacted to Target : The company beat expectations and upped its earnings guidance, but management did say that it remained cautious. The bears jumped all over this, completely ignoring TGT’s surge to a 52-week high thanks specifically to its sales numbers.
All of these retailers said that business is better than expectations, and those expectations were created a month ago during a time of rising unemployment. How could someone call that a mixed picture?
Cramer chalked it up to the human condition: People just don’t like to admit when they’re wrong – analysts included.
But the facts can’t be denied. The consumer, while not at full strength, certainly is getting stronger. Whether it’s because of government stimulus, a rising stock market, housing stabilization or a renewed confidence that their jobs are safe, people are once again opening their wallets. That’s why Amazon.com is so close to its all-time high, and a good portion of retail stocks hit their 52-week highs today. Cramer even went so far as to predict that we’d see “the most profitable Christmas selling season in years.”
Here’s the takeaway for viewers:
“If you can’t admit when you’re wrong, then you can’t win in this game,” he said. “Maybe the talking heads can afford to fudge the facts over and over again, but the market’s less forgiving.”
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