We live in both the best of times and the worst of times for corporate America, Jim Cramer said Thursday on CNBC’s “Mad Money.” Unfortunately, right now there are far more worst times than best times. Today, U.S. markets saw declines for a sixth-straight day, with the Dow Jones losing 31 points at 12,573, the S&P edging down fractionally to 1,334 and the Nasdaq giving up 0.75 percent to close at 2,886.
To put it poetically, “we’ve had a spring of hope when the averages were still rallying, and now we’re facing a winter of despair,” Cramer said. He was referring to widening global fears brought on by the U.S. fiscal cliff, a potential hard landing in China and “European death rattles,” in addition to some lackluster corporate earnings.
Still, he said, there’s enough positive action going on to offset the economic slowdown and there is still money to be made.
For instance, several sectors are facing the best of times — like utilities, REITs, telecom companies and a handful of retailers. This morning, when the markets opened in the red, several stocks — AT&T, Verizon, Wal-Mart Stores and Target among them — stood their ground. In fact, both Wal-Mart and Target are up more than 17 percent for the year.
Food, beverage, tobacco and drug companies are also giving us a “summer of hope,” he said. That’s how companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble andMerck have all managed to perform so strongly in spite of any bearish sentiment. And even within sectors, we are faced with drastic dichotomies. While German consulting and software company SAP can rally $1.68 on fast-growing IT spending, the India-based firm can plummet 11 percent while citing IT weakness. We see a similar dynamic between Dunkin' Brands and Starbucks.