Cramer worries market entering no-man’s land

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

Cramer worries the stock market may be entering no-man's land. "It's starting to look like the market is stalled," said the Mad Money host.

And the question becomes what, if anything, can drive it higher.

"This market lacks leadership right now," Cramer explained. And without leadership, Cramer fears a market adrift.

"If you want to take some profits after this big run, I can't blame you," he added. However, he also said not to abandon this market altogether.

"I think it's too soon for that," he said

The Mad Money host still believes in the rally – the question becomes what will ignite additional buying.

Following is what Cramer is watching as he attempts to determine what can drive the next leg of the bull.


"In the tech sector, I simply don't see much to cheer about save telecom spending," Cramer said. And Cramer worries that even telecom doesn't have many tailwinds.

"While the big telcos badly need to upgrade, especially T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, there simply aren't enough telco techs, companies like Xilinx or Ciena to get the averages going," he said.

And, although Cramer is bullish on niche areas of tech, such as social media, he doesn't think they're big enough for the sector to shine. Also he added that Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard seem played out.


Cramer isn't expecting much from the banks either. "They're caught between a rock and a hard place," he said. That is, they're facing declining refinances and the sudden decline in the affordability of homes.

"That's one of the reasons why the momentum just isn't there for this sector," Cramer said.

Cramer doesn't think the insurance companies have a lot of mojo, either. "Not in the wake of the price war Travelers hinted at on their conference call," he said.

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Food & Drug

Cramer worries that many stocks in this area of the market look like they could be rolling over.

"Just take one look at the chart of JNJ and you'll see a stock that has peaked out for the moment. I feel the exact same way about Procter & Gamble, which doesn't have enough growth to power much higher. Only Hormel and Campbell Soup appear to have strength and they're too small to drive the whole market," Cramer said.

Health insurance stocks such as Humana, United Health and WellPoint appear to have momentum, but Cramer sees the strength as stock specific. "They aren't market leaders," he said.


Cramer doesn't have high expectations for housing, at all. "Everything housing and housing related has gone bad. That one-time leadership group is flopping," he said.

Although Cramer remains a long-term bull, in the near term he worries fundamentals are bearish. A recent spike in interest rates spooked an already fragile recovery in the sector. "I bet there are many buyers who walked away," he said. That also bodes poorly for most related retailers.


Cramer worries the price action in Gap and Costco could be a sign of things to come. "Both were excessively punished on what I consider to be fine numbers. Let's hope that's not a harbinger."

Within the sector Cramer is optimistic about food retailers. "Restaurants from Brinker to Chipotle to Wendy's and more have all been strong," he said. "I believe that's due to declining food costs courtesy of a bountiful harvest." But can they ignite broad buying – that's the question.

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"The oils suddenly seem to have laid an egg despite the jump in the price of crude," Cramer explained. The Mad Money host just doesn't see this sector driving much of anything. "As far as I can tell, EOG Resources is the only one that's shooting the lights out."


Cramer expects little from the utilities sector. "The utilities are trapped here, trapped because interest rates are expected to rise and you can't own a group that historically goes down when rates climb, Cramer said. And the Mad Money host is equally bearish on REITs and MLP's for the same reason.


Cramer sees cause for concern in this sector too. "As it turns out airlines were among the worst hit by the sequester. Who would have thought that government travel was so important for the airlines," he said. However he added that Federal Express and the rails warrant watching. If they can rally, they could drive a further advance – the question becomes can they rally? "It's a tough group to figure out, but it's one worth watching like a hawk," he said.


Cramer is bullish long-term but worries the auto stocks also face headwinds. "They need China to stay strong," Cramer said. The issue here is whether or not China has turned a corner.


If the global recovery can gain a foothold, Cramer thinks this sector could emerge as a leader. "I know Boeing and the whole aerospace complex seem to act like they're out of gas, but I am not fretting. This group remains a jump up and then rest sector, and it's just resting. Can momentum continue? The multiples are still low, the dividends are still bountiful and the opportunities with other governments remain too good for me to think that the move is over," Cramer said.

Industrials, Metals and Mining

If there's an area of the market that could drive the next bull – it may be here. "These stocks have been penalized for years," Cramer said. "Selected industrials like Ingersoll-Rand, Cummins, Emerson and Johnson Controls have been very strong. So have Illinois Toolworks, Jabil and Pentair. To me that suggests better business."

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