Cramer Remix: I’m ashamed of my GE recommendation

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer revealed why he regrets recommending GE.
  • Cramer also sat down with the CEO of an online trading platform to get his outlook on the market in 2018.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer explained why he's sticking by CVS at its recent lows.

After the decline in the FANG stocks on Tuesday, CNBC's Jim Cramer issued a warning to investors who own the technology-laden group.

"I just wanted to get in front of tomorrow's storyline," the "Mad Money" host said. "You better believe the obituary's being written once again right now, this time with the death notice containing two As and two Ns, as in FAANNG, or Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Nvidia and Google, the company now known as Alphabet."

Weakness in the FAANNGs is bound to be taken seriously, which is why Cramer looked at the broader market layout, starting with the GOP-led tax overhaul.

But even though Cramer remained bullish on the FAANNG stocks, a caller asking about General Electric brought up some real regrets.

"Sometimes, you just get had, and I got had," Cramer said. "I was wrong about GE. That's my fault. I shouldn't have recommended it on the way down."

"I thought business was doing better," the "Mad Money" host continued. "Did management know something I didn't know? I don't think so. I think they got snookered, too. But you know what? We've got a new guy in town, [CEO John] Flannery. I think he's trying to put it together, trying to get it together, so I would not sell it. But I cost people money because I believed, and I'm ashamed."

Looking at 'broken stock' Penumbra

Source: Penumbra

When two callers asked Cramer about the stock of Penumbra, he told them that it was for speculation only and they should wait for a better entry point to buy.

But there's one problem: "Penumbra hasn't given you many entry points," Cramer said.

The first time Cramer was asked about Penumbra's stock was Nov. 2016, when it was at $65. The second time was in March 2017, when the stock was at $82. By Nov. 2017, it had run up to $116, where it peaked. Since then, shares of Penumbra have pulled back roughly 20 percent.

"Given that this is an audience name that's made some of our viewers a lot of mula, I think we've got to figure out whether we're dealing with a buyable dip or if this is just the beginning of a larger, more painful decline," Cramer said. "It's not always easy to tell."

Off the charts: Bitcoin vs. gold

Bitcoin on a mound of gold.
bodnarchuk | iStock Editorial | Getty Images
Bitcoin on a mound of gold.

With a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey casting bitcoin as the world's most crowded investment, Cramer weighed the idea of the cryptocurrency replacing gold.

"Has bitcoin started to replace gold as a repository of value, a place for rich people to hide their money when they get worried about inflation or government confiscation?" Cramer wondered. "With the recent decline in the precious metal and the incredible parabola that is the run in bitcoin, this idea keeps popping up."

To determine whether the idea has merit, Cramer called on technician Carley Garner, the co-founder of DeCarley Trading and the author of Higher Probability Commodity Trading.

"Long story short, bitcoin's not going to replace gold anytime soon, and I'd say that even if it hadn't started pulling back over the past couple of days," Cramer said.

MarketAxess CEO on 2018 outlook

Rick McVey, CEO, MarketAxess
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Rick McVey, CEO, MarketAxess

MarketAxess Founder, Chairman and CEO Rick McVey thinks 2018 will be "really interesting" for the bond markets, his company's wheelhouse.

MarketAxess, an online trading platform that makes it easier for investors to trade bonds and other fixed-income assets, has given its chief a unique look into international markets.

"Quite frankly, we've been growing in spite of the fact that we've been living in this very low-yield, low-volatility environment," the CEO told Cramer on Tuesday. "We've been through unprecedented monetary easing and quantitative easing with massive amounts of balance sheet expansion by the Fed, the ECB and the Bank of Japan driving rates down to help spur economic growth. But the short answer is that has worked."

As a result of the central banks' policy changes, global growth is the best it has been since the financial crisis, and interest rates are rising along with debt.

"Corporate bond debt is about double what it was eight years ago because of the issuance environment for corporate treasurers," McVey told Cramer. "So I think it's going to be a very interesting year as rates start to rise and normalize over the coming quarters."

Range skepticism

Lately, Cramer has noticed a trend among individual stocks — and the people that trade them — that reminds him of the 1980s and 1990s.

In the 1980s, "soft goods" stocks like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb trumped their trading ranges; in the 1990s, it was technology stocks like Microsoft and Intel.

In 2017, "breakout moves" in the industrial stocks have shaken traders because they have completely blown past their original ranges, Cramer said.

"You'd think that the traders would have figured it out by now: this is no ordinary market, people. But they keep thinking in such limited terms," he said. "They've been conditioned to believe that these kinds of breakouts are meant to be bet against."

Cramer called the phenomenon of traders not believing stocks can go higher than a certain amount "range skepticism."

"I say get used to the breakouts. They are — to use a despicable term that hedge fund managers like to toss around — the new normal," the "Mad Money" host concluded.

Lightning Round: Why Cramer's sticking with CVS

In Cramer's lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:

CVS Health Corp.: "I think CVS is at the bottom end of the range and I like it right here. I know it's out of fashion. It seems to go down every time it lifts its head. I'm sticking with it down here. I didn't like it higher."

Paycom Software Inc.: "Man, this stock sells at 65 times earnings. It's up 81 percent. Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered. I want you to take out your cost basis and let the rest run."

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Facebook, Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet and General Electric.

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