Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday December 13.
The Next Retail Comeback Play: The Gap (NYSE:GPS). Other stocks mentioned: Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Saks (NYSE:SKS), Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Phillips-Van Heusen (NYSE:PVH), Flower Foods (NYSE:FLO)
With downbeat news from retail, it may be hard to find a stock to buy in the sector. Dollar General (DG) discussed lower margins, and Wal-Mart (WMT) management made disappointing comments about consumer spending. CEO Steve Sadove of Saks (SKS) admitted that fiscal cliff worries necessitate conservative guidance. However, amid the gloom, there are some bright comeback stories. Cramer identified Urban Outfitters (URBN) as a stock headed up, and after the recommendation, management reported its same store sales were up in the high single digits. URBN has sold off from $35 to $31 on fiscal cliff worries, but it is up 70% for the year, and might not be as good a stock to buy as The Gap (GPS), which is also seeing a comeback, but hasn't risen. The stock sold off when The Street was expecting a 3.8% increase in same store sales, compared to GPS's 3% rise. Cramer thinks Hurricane Sandy and the unseasonably warm weather on the West Coast temporarily depressed numbers. In any case, monthly retail sales numbers tend to be "choppy" and not good barometers to determine whether a stock is worth buying or not. GPS is seeing strength in its brands and its international sales increased by 20%, with a 30% target for next year. GPS had been held back by high cotton prices, but since the commodity has declined in cost, the headwind should be a tailwind. Gap sells at a multiple of 12 with a 9% growth rate. Cramer would buy half a position now and half on a decline.
Cramer took some calls:
J.C. Penney (JCP) is not a stock that Cramer has liked, but since Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) CEO Emmanuel Chirico discussed the success of a "store within a store" concept with partner JCP, the stock has been doing well. In any case, it is "too late to hate," JCP.
Flowers Foods (FLO) is not likely to buy Hostess brands because of the latter's complicated labor issues.
With the Dow diving 75 points before rallying at the end of Thursday, Cramer cautioned viewers that history might repeat itself in the stock market. While a deal was reached over the debt ceiling, stocks dropped 20% prior to a compromise. Before TARP funding was instituted, the market fell 9%. It seems that Washington "doesn't do the right thing until they see the whites of the bear market's eyes." Whether a compromise is ultimately reached or whether the U.S. goes over the cliff, stocks are likely to suffer in the near-term.
President Obama doesn't seem to want to budge on spending, and business leaders are flying to Washington to show willingness to make a deal. In this game of "chicken," it seems that the CEOs are giving in. Gold is unstable right now, and Cramer would get out of gold miners and buy SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD). Oil and gas stocks are falling because some have concerns that demand might drop; Cramer would buy EOG Resources (EOG) on a decline.
Where the S&P 500 Might Be Headed
For 6 straight days, the S&P 500 went higher, but the winning streak was broken on Thursday. The question is why we haven't been hit harder with the fiscal cliff worries. Cramer discussed the analysis of Carolyn Boroden of Fibonacciqueen.com. She has been "dead right" three times in a row and her "eerily prescient" calls included predicting the top for the S&P 500 within 10 points of the September high. She drew a line in the sand that if the S&P 500 fell below 1396, it would go lower. After the election, the S&P fell below that level and continued to decline. Boroden called a bottom , and stocks moved up. Boroden's current range is 1436-1446. On Thursday stocks approached this level, and fell back down. However, the S&P didn't fall below Boroden's floor of 1414. If the S&P goes below 1398, it will continue to fall. However, if it breaks above the 1436-1446 range, it could rally to 1510, and then could go as high as 1607.
Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS: Trade right alongside a Wall Street pro! Start your 14-day FREE trial today.
Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.