Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the market hitting an all-time high. Since that time, volatile action has permeated stocks as they seesaw. That action inspired Jim Cramer to go back to basics and assess the 30 stocks of the Dow Jones industrial average to see if there was anything worth pounding the table on.
The exercise reminded Cramer just how good most of the companies are.
“All the negative chatter would most likely have you walking away from this market in fear, but I think you should stay the course, because if the global economy gets better, we could have a heck of a run here,” the “Mad Money” host said.
With this in mind, Cramer gave his take on each Dow component in alphabetical order:
3M: Cramer thinks 3M could be ready for a pullback, but it could gain followers if it does. Though less than 20 percent of its business is in Latin America, that exposure is hurting the company. That aside, Cramer likes what 3M has to offer.
American Express: It’s an inexpensive stock but faces big competition from Visa, Mastercard and Paypal. As a result, investors don’t seem to care that it’s doing well.
Apple: Cramer still says own the stock, don’t trade it. He thinks CEO Tim Cook is doing an excellent job.
“I regard Apple as the cheapest stock in the Dow. Period,” Cramer said.
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Boeing: Cramer suspects that the stock hasn’t been able to gain traction because its customers are doing poorly versus expectations. Until airline stocks stabilize, he fears Boeing will just bounce around.
Caterpillar: When the stock gets to a 5-percent yield and is selling in the mid-$60s, Cramer is willing to take a look.
“Otherwise, CAT is a consensus short, and consensus shorts almost always work unless there is a restructuring, and I don’t see one coming here,” Cramer said.
Chevron: Cramer thinks Chevron is a winner for those investors who think oil is going to $50. He recommended Chevron acquire some of the cheaper oil companies with good properties before they become too expensive to buy.
Cisco: Portfolio managers simply dislike Cisco because of competition from Ciena, Juniper and Arista. Its 4 percent yield and low valuation doesn’t seem to be attracting investors.
Coca-Cola: It’s one of the consumer products companies that benefit from lower commodity costs and weakening of the dollar. He can’t think of a good reason to own the stock, but he can’t think of a reason to sell it.
Disney: Cramer is tired of Disney haters. Shanghai Disney and multiple box office movies make this stock one to own in a sector where he thinks everyone should own something.
DuPont: The stock is stuck, and Cramer thinks it’s because no one trusts the government. Despite assurances that its merger with Dow Chemical is on track, there is resistance on the Street. It would be better if the deal closed or broke down, as being stuck in no man’s land is tough.
Exxon Mobil: Cramer likes this one because it doesn’t fluctuate much with oil prices.
General Electric: It’s stalled here, a victim of its own success. Cramer is buying more for his charitable trust and plans to become more aggressive as oil goes higher. He recommended investors also buy aggressively.
Goldman Sachs: While the stock is ridiculously cheap, tough new regulations create a negative backdrop. That merits a “so what” from Cramer.
Home Depot: It’s a play on household formation and investing in the home, not necessarily retail. Cramer likes it.
IBM: It’s reinventing itself quickly and moving into the cloud. Cramer thinks the old bad days of the transition are behind it, and it now has little price risk.
Intel: Cramer thinks it’s time for this company to split up between a legacy company and one that dominates the internet of things.
Johnson & Johnson: It has what Cramer considers to be the best balance sheet in the world and fantastic management. Money managers are praying this stock comes in. If it does, Cramer wants investors to pounce.
Merck: It’s missed so many quarters Cramer has little good to say about it. He wants it to break up like Pfizer did with Zoetis and create value.
Microsoft: He won’t give up on it yet, but Cramer thinks the first buy of this stock might not be the only one.
Nike: The stock tends to underperform in Olympic years. He said to wait until Footlocker reports to get a better a view on whether it is part of the mall’s road kill.
Pfizer: Cramer thinks Pfizer was nuts not to just buy Allergan outright after it sold off so much. But the stock yields 3.6 percent, so he thinks it won’t hurt investors.
Procter & Gamble: Cramer hasn’t lost faith in it, and his charitable trust is buying it.
“You don’t sell because Buffett sells. That is just silly,” Cramer said.
Travelers: In a deflationary environment, it’s best to own an insurance stock. Cramer thinks Traveler is the winner.
United Health: It’s the best performing HMO out there because it pulled out of many of the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Talk about a windfall.
United Technologies: Cramer is still a fan because of the excellent leadership of its CEO. He recommended to buy on a pullback.
Verizon: It’s cutting costs, boosting margins and selling handsets. Music to Cramer’s ears.
Visa: It has tremendous exposure to foreign currencies, which is good news for a declining dollar.
Wal-Mart: Without a clear-cut strategy to beat Amazon, Cramer would rather sell than own it.
“There are most stocks to buy than sell, but nothing is worth pounding the table on. Which is befitting this moment where, to me, there is no strong case to own the market, but none to sell it either,” Cramer said.