Hold tight. Higher stock prices could be in the cards for those down-and-out companies, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers on Thursday. The reason? Sentiment.
Sentiment is a fickle beast to measure, but it’s essential if you want to predict the market’s next move. Think of sentiment as the market’s mindset, which can swing wildly from negativity and exhaustion to excitement and wild-eyed optimism, seemingly on a daily basis.
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There are a number of ways to gauge what the market is thinking. Cramer said he prefers the S&P proprietary market oscillator, which provides a simple metric between +10 for overbought and -10 for oversold. Investors can also turn to the market volatility index, or the (VIX) , for a read on the market’s mood.
Beyond these metrics, investors can look at what the analysts are saying. Thursday we had cybersecurity companies report tremendous earnings, but the analysts were too scared to publish any upgrades, fearing another Omicron selloff.
Finally, investors can look to individual sectors and companies for sentiment. The payments sector was once adored on Wall Street, but then the love for Mastercard (MA) – Get Mastercard Incorporated Class A Report and American Express (AXP) – Get American Express Company Report was replaced by PayPal (PYPL) – Get PayPal Holdings, Inc. Report and Square (SQ) – Get Square, Inc. Class A Report. More recently, even PayPal is loathed, with the latest hotness being Affirm Holdings (AFRM) – Get Affirm Holdings, Inc. Class A Report.
Then there are individual companies like Boeing (BA) – Get Boeing Company Report, which shot up 7.5% Thursday after China declared the 737 Max can finally return to service. Sentiment on Boeing had been terrible for months, but now suddenly has turned very positive. That bodes well for both Honeywell (HON) – Get Honeywell International Inc. Report and General Electric (GE) – Get General Electric Company Report as well.
Executive Decision: CrowdStrike
For his first “Executive Decision” segment, Cramer spoke with George Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD) – Get CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. Class A Report, the cybersecurity company that saw shares pop 3.9% after reporting strong quarterly results.
Kurtz said it’s no surprise that CrowdStrike was ranked No. 1 in the “Fortune Future 50” list for 2021. He said the company’s focus is on protecting customers and it shows.
Kurtz added that most cyber attacks occur because companies are using legacy systems from Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report or Symantec that just can’t keep up with the speed at which attacks are occurring. That’s why CrowdStrike deploys artificial intelligence for endpoint protection. The company collects billions of data points every day from customers and uses that knowledge to protect them in real time.
CrowdStrike is also growing by selling more software to existing clients. Kurtz noted that 60% of its customers now have more than four modules from CrowdStrike which is another testament to how well CrowdStrike protects.
Know Your IPO: Allbirds
In his “Know Your IPO” segment, Cramer opined on Allbirds (BIRD) – Get Allbirds, Inc. Class A Report, the environmentally-friendly footwear and apparel company that came public last month to much fanfare, only to disappoint since.
Shares of Allbirds initially priced at $15 and opened as high as $32 before settling in at $29 by the close on its first day. Since then, shares have been cut in half and Cramer said they’re likely still not done heading lower.
Allbirds shares rose 1 cent on Thursday to close at $16.07. The stock was down another 2.36% after hours.
What went wrong? Cramer said much of the hype surrounding Allbirds came from people who liked the company’s product and not from seasoned investors. This was compounded by the investment bankers offering more shares than the market was prepared to handle.
While Allbirds does have a 26% growth rate, the company is still losing money and has negative cash flows from operations. Yet at their peak, the company was valued at $4.7 billion. Even after the recent pullback, Allbirds was still valued at $2.8 billion, or eight times sales. That’s a lot for a company that just makes shoes, Cramer said. A fair price for what the company is offering would be closer to just $12 a share, he concluded.
Executive Decision: Signet Jewelers
In his second “Executive Decision” segment, Cramer also spoke with Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers (SIG) – Get Signet Jewelers Limited Report, the jewelry store conglomerate with shares up 223% year to date.
Drosos said Signet had a great Black Friday weekend, which followed strong sales in October. They correctly predicted that shoppers would start the holiday season early and they are ready with stocked stores and a full staff.
Signet has also made a lot of progress cleaning up the balance sheet. Drosos said they have great working capital and better inventory management that’s provided the company with the liquidity it needs to grow and innovate in the space with now payment options and same-day delivery.
Signet was also rated one of the top places to work, Drosos noted. Improving culture has been a top priority for the company. Signet has raised wages and begun offering new benefits to employees, which has led to low turnover rates.
Zero Tolerance for Covid
In his “No Huddle Offense” segment, Cramer once again sounded off in favor of a zero-tolerance policy to put Covid in the rear-view mirror once and for all.
“We need to get our act together,” Cramer said. First, the federal government needs to mandate COVID vaccines for everyone. It has mandated vaccines for smallpox and polio, it can certainly do it again for COVID. The unvaccinated are breeding grounds for new variants and we cannot let this vocal minority keep us from progress.
Finally, Cramer said the U.S. needs to follow the U.K. and make at-home testing free for everyone. It’s horrible that test kits from Abbott Labs (ABT) – Get Abbott Laboratories Report cost over $14. If we want to break free from this virus, we need to test ourselves.
If we all pull together, we can beat COVID and start moving towards a post-COVID future. It’s time to stop the squabbling and just get vaccinated.
Here’s what Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Thursday evening:
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