"Underdogs rule! Revenge of the beaten down! Role reversal!" These were just some of the phrases Jim Cramer used to describe the reversal of fortune Wall Street saw Wednesday on CNBC's "Mad Money."
U.S. stocks snapped a three-day losing streak, with the Dow Jones gained 58 points to close at 12,676, the Nasdaq was down 8 points at 2,854 and the S&P 500 dipped lower by just a fraction of a point to end at 1,337.
More specifically, though, Cramer was referring to a handful of formerly overlooked stocks who reported better-than-expected news today. As a result, "they can run further and faster than anyone thought possible."
Exhibit A: Boeing. Despite the negative talk fromAirbus about how aircraft orders were weakening and the aerospace cycle was over, Boeing proved that wasn't the case. The aerospace giant reported earnings of $1.27 a share versus estimates of $1.11 and boasted 21 percent revenue growth — one of the best for any major company. The firm also raised guidance by nearly 10 percent and announced a $374 billion backlog with $13 billion in net new orders. "Let's just say Boeing's mopping the floor with Airbus," Cramer said.
Next on the list of "losers now" who will later win" is Caterpillar. Shares of this big industrial player have been nothing short of horrendous, he said. Going into the session, the stock was down 10 percent due to slowing global growth, having run down from $116 to just $80. But CAT defied the odds when the firm reported a "magnificent" quarter along with a guide-up instead of a guide-down, Cramer said. Now the stock is roaring and ended the day up almost 2 percent.
"CAT's kind of a glass-half-full company," he said. The world's largest maker of construction equipment acknowledged widespread global weakness but noted positives like China's recent government stimulus and " a real turn" in the U.S. housing market. Oil, meanwhile, continues to hover around $90 a barrel — a level at which Caterpillar generally does best.
Another beaten-up "worst to first" is Broadcom. The chip maker had dropped steadily from $39 to $30, until it reported a blowout last quarter and a terrific guide-up, Cramer said. Broadcom had been down for so long that any positive news was sure to fuel a future rally — which we saw today, when the stock jumped more than $2 to close at $32 a share.
PepsiCo and Panera Bread also enjoyed some momentum after reporting strong earnings beats this week. Pepsi's 5 percent growth and strong European sales gave the stock a lift Cramer said he didn't see ending anytime soon. Panera Bread also ran up 11 points to $53.
Cramer also pointed to one stock that portrayed the complete opposite — what happens to red-hot stocks when they report faltering numbers. Tech titan Apple had been given zero immunity after disappointing with earnings Tuesday night.
"Now, we don't know if these big gains are all going to stick," Cramer said. He did forecast that if aerospace concerns grow and fears over Europe widen further, Boeing could give back some of its gains. And another slowdown in China could cause Caterpillar to undergo another pullback.
The bottom line: Cramer's calling it a "revenge of the nerds" session, saying companies that had been unfairly whacked down this year finally got their day in the sun today. "Even the losers get lucky sometimes."
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple, Boeing and Broadcom.
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