Cramer Puts the Market's Scariest Stories Into Perspective
Stocks edged higher on Wednesday despite a long list of negatives being reported in the media, Cramer said on "Mad Money."
"We went up because this market remains stronger and better than you think with a couple of gigantic positives that far outweigh the more numerous but less important negatives you keep hearing about," Cramer said, adding that it's easier for commentators to report on bad versus good news. "If you expose the subversive truth about something positive, half the time you'll be dismissed as an outright idiot or some kind of cheerleading Pollyanna."
In turn, Cramer said the market is blasted with a parade of negative news stories. While there are many legitimate concerns today, many negative reports are blown out of proportion while the good news is downplayed or simply ignored. To get a better sense of what's actually going on, Cramer scrutinized the market's top-10 "scary stories."
First, new home sales sank 16.9 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual unit rate of 250,000, the lowest since records of sales have been kept. January sales were at an upwardly revised 301,000-unit pace. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected new sales would rise to an annual rate of 290,000 from the previously reported 284,000 in January. Taking a glass half-full view, Cramer hopes the homebuilders will see this number and finally stop building new homes. Despite sour sales, the homebuilders have continued to construct new homes, adding to the housing glut. Perhaps the homebuilders will change their plans after seeing this news.
Second, Europe’s sovereign debt crisis was in the spotlight again as Portugal’s parliament votes on the government’s austerity measures. The vote could spell the collapse of the government and further trouble for the debt-battered country. Cramer called this a "total sideshow" being as he thinks Portugal will be bailed out and the euro will bounce back.
Third, oil prices rose as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa continued. Cramer isn't arguing this story — it's "just plain bad" at this point, he said.
Fourth, Japan estimated the direct damage from the earthquake and tsunami to be $185 to $308 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever. Cramer said this isn't a "pure negative" because companies that make products that can help Japan rebuild will do great. Construction machinery maker Caterpillaris "best of breed," he said.
Fifth, without close air support of rebel troops, Cramer said one could argue the allies are less likely to win the war. Air support, he said, only works as an adjunct to soldiers on the ground and it seems the rebels are simply outnumbered. This news isn't good for now, but he'll wait to see what happens.
Sixth, other than oil, Cramer thinks it's fantastic that commodities are rising. The copper exchange-traded fund going up means industrial activity growth and real jobs, he said.
Seventh, to sustain any rally, the CurrencyShares Euro Trust — an ETF that mirrors the euro — must continue to climb. Any weakness in the FXE is bad because if it falls, it can trump the goodness of copper.
Eighth, one of the worst signs for this market is the lousy action on the part of the banks. These stocks had rallied on news they were returning capital, but that's over. Cramer is also concerned about Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enacting additional regulation.
Ninth, technology is on the fence. Cramer fave Jabil Circuit reported a strong quarter on Tuesday and its stock soared. Adobe Systems shares fell, on the other hand, because of Japanese exposure.
Finally, Cramer said the automobile industry is dreadful. There is no sign of a turnaround any time soon, but he thinks many of these stocks are great plays long-term. Being as few think of autos long-term, the group remains a sell.
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Caterpillar.
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