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Why FedEx Didn't Bring Down the Market

Wednesday, 5 Sep 2012 | 7:14 PM ET

On Wednesday’s show, "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer admitted he was wrong to think FedEx’s gloomy earnings preannouncement might lead the stock market lower.

The day prior, FedExslashed its fiscalfirst-quarter forecast, citing the weak global economy. In turn, at least six brokerages cut their price targets on the package-delivery company, while Wells Fargo lowered its rating on the company to ‘market perform.’

To Cramer, shipping giant is an economic bellwether. He thought a warning that FedEx’s earnings will come in below earlier forecasts would likely send its stock sharply lower, pulling the rest of the stock market down, too.

FedEx Cut Its Q1 Earnings Outlook
Mad Money host Jim Cramer discusses how investors should react to FedEx's big announcement to cuts its Q1 earnings outlook.

As it turned out, though, stocks ended narrowly mixed Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 11.54 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 13,047.48. The S&P 500 dropped 1.50 points, or 0.11 percent, to finish at 1,403.44. The Nasdaq slipped 5.79 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 3,069.27.

“I don’t like being wrong. I don’t like thinking that FedEx — a key member of the transports — can preannounce negative earnings and it barely impacts the broader averages,” Cramer said. “I don’t like it because I prefer markets that a predictable, that are logical.”

Cramer noted that this market is unlike any market he can recall, though. Had FedEx missed the mark in the past, its stock would have dropped and the market would follow suit.

This time around, however, FedEx’s stock dropped just $1.74, or 2 percent, on Wednesday.

(Click here for after-hours quotes on FedEx.)

So what happened?

“FedEx might very well be caught up in the same positive vortex that’s affecting so many other stocks right now: the idea that the future could be brighter than the past if central banks around the globe attempt to save the day,” Cramer said, adding that many investors are optimistic the European Central Bank might take action to finally curb the region’s ongoing debt crisis.

Cramer added that FedEx’s preannouncement was not exactly a “true shocker” because rival United Parcel Service offered similar commentary about a slowing economy just six weeks ago.

"I don’t like figuring wrong about a particular piece of corporate news, but worse than getting it wrong is not figuring out why I got it wrong," Cramer said. "I’m satisfied for the moment that I’ve come up with the answers, unless, of course, the European Central Bank does nothing good, and in that case, we’ll see the hideous decline tomorrow that I thought we should see today."

(Read More:Why FedEx's Warning May Be Bad Sign for Stocks)

—CNBC.com and Reuters contributed to this report

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