Since the beginning of the year, Jim Cramer has seen a hideous beatdown of growth stocks, especially enterprise software stock Salesforce.
The stock plunged to $62 on Wednesday, down from $78 at the end of 2015 on no real fundamental news. It was simply just a stock market rotation away from richly valued growth stocks.
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Salesforce reported after the close Wednesday and delivered in-line earnings with higher than expected revenue, up 25 percent year-over-year and raised its fiscal year 2017 guidance. This caused the stock to soar after hours.
With the blow that stocks like LinkedIn and Tableau brought to the market recently, could cloud stocks be making a comeback?
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said not all cloud stocks are the same, stating, "There has been a great cloud washing, where every company says they are the cloud — but beware of the false cloud, Jim … because there are many false clouds out there."
Everywhere Cramer goes, people ask him if the U.S. is headed into a recession. And then he hears other whispers, saying that the Fed feels the need to raise rates and maybe it will happen in March.
"When you look beyond the market's tight linkage to the price of oil, the idea that we could be headed into a recession has become a powerful theme, a whispered undercurrent in this environment that surfaces whenever oil takes a dive," the "Mad Money" host said.
In fact, Cramer thinks the two separate conversations should be combined together to say, "We are going to have a recession and the Fed is going to raise rates right into it."
Or maybe a more cynical approach would be to say that the U.S. is going to have a recession because of the Fed, Cramer said.
"I almost wonder if they live in a vacuum. Who are they talking to? Don't they at least have some buddies who are concerned about a recession? Don't they know some people are pulling back from investing?" Cramer said.
As long as the Fed governors remain upbeat, Cramer expects more days on the market ahead that will be down, not up.
February has been an incredible month for the stock market, and now Cramer is ready to sort through the stocks that have fallen out of favor to see if any are ready for investing.
Williams-Sonoma is the home furnishings company that owns such brands as Pottery Barn and West Elm. The stock rallied to $89 at its peak last August, all the way up from $20 at the beginning of 2010.
However, since that top, the stock has practically taken a nosedive, plunging to $56 on Wednesday and making another tumble after hours.
While it is possible for the stock to come roaring back, Cramer suggested for investors to say away from it until the company reports earnings again on March 16. If the results are strong —then he will change his opinion.
But for those investors looking for a retail play on housing, he said to stick with best-of-breed retailer Home Depot.
"Avoid Williams-Sonoma until it becomes clear that management has a plan to reignite their business," Cramer said.
It seems to Cramer these days that with so much negative news surrounding Apple, the stock refuses to plummet. It makes him think that the stock could have a real upside later in the year.
"Have you noticed that they have thrown everything at Apple but the kitchen sink, and the darned thing just won't come down?" the "Mad Money" host asked.
Cramer thinks it is entirely possible that Apple is buying back stock with the knowledge that the next time it reports will be before the new iPhone 7 is released. He thinks selling the stock now with everyone aware that Apple could have a weak quarter could be counterintuitive.
And at 10 times earnings, maybe the bad news is already baked in to the shares.
"Apple could have some real upside later in the year, which is why I reiterate my view that you want to own this stock, not trade it," Cramer said.
One story that seems to have stalled is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the fried chicken chain with approximately 2,500 locations in the U.S. For years, Cramer has considered this to be one of the best turnaround stories in the restaurant space.
Popeyes reported on Tuesday, and delivered a 1-cent earnings beat from a 42-cent basis, slightly weaker than expected revenues and a 2.8 percent increase in same-store sales — a deceleration from last year. But the real issue was the guidance, with management providing a weaker than expected forecast for 2016.
What happened? To find out, Cramer spoke with Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder.
"We announced new bold goals for Popeyes for the next 7 to 10 years, and a plan to really step up the performance of the company. So, that's really what I think we need to be focused on … But we'll get after innovation and sharp price points and we'll be back to our strong performance," Bachelder said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on various caller- favorite stocks:
Citigroup: "You have to hold that, because right now the banks are in a world of hurt. We are not going to be able to make a decision to buy these until we get more clarity on oil and gas."
Senior Housing Properties Trust: "I am worried about all the senior housing properties companies and until we hear from Deb Cafaro from Ventas [CEO] because these stocks have been in a world of pain and I'm not going to let you get in there."