April 20, 2021

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Big business is bouncing back

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday that last month’s surprising jobs report is why investors should take a barbell approach to the market.

He warned, however, that the jobs number is a glimpse into the post-coronavirus future as more states roll back their phased reopenings from the monthslong lockdown.

“That’s what we’re doing with my charitable trust,” the “Mad Money” host said. “We have some exposure to the stay-at-home stocks in case the pandemic continues growing like crazy, but we’ve also got some industrials in case the recovery keeps rolling, along with some recession stocks in case things go very wrong.”

Investors paid up for all kinds of stocks on the market after the U.S. Labor Department revealed that 4.8 million jobs were added to the economy in June.

“I think this was a legitimate comeback, and a comeback gives you more latitude to buy stocks that depend on a healthy economy,” Cramer said.

The major averages surged in the morning on the news, though they finished well off their highs. The Dow industrials index closed 92 points, or 0.36%, higher at 25,827.36. The S&P 500 rose 0.45% to 3,130.01 and the Nasdaq Composite moved 0.52% to 10,207.63.

“Nothing seems to matter anymore except which stocks to buy,” which is “staggering when you consider that we still do have 11% unemployment and a totally out-of-control epidemic,” Cramer said. “The stock market is not a proxy for the economy, it’s a proxy for big business. Big business is bouncing back, and bouncing back with a vengeance.”

The host gave investors a look at what’s circled on his calendar in the week to come. All projections are based on Factset estimates.

Tuesday: Paychex, Levi’s Strauss earnings

Paychex reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens.

  • Projected EPS: 60 cents
  • Projected revenue: $911 million

“Paychex is a payroll processor that caters to small and medium-sized businesses,” Cramer said. “Given today’s jobs number, I expect maybe they’ll do a little bit better than expectations.”

Levi Strauss reports fiscal 2020 second-quarter results in the afternoon.

  • Projected losses per share: 44 cents
  • Projected revenue: $568 million

“They’re moving hard into digital,” he said. “The stock’s still down a great deal — who needs pants if you can’t go outside — but it’s not expensive by any stretch of the imagination.”

Wednesday: Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond reports fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings after the closing bell.

  • Projected losses per share: $1.25
  • Projected revenue: $1.39 billion

CEO Mark Tritton “needs to give us a plan. I bet he delivers and we’ll like it, but remember this is very much an uphill battle right now,” Cramer said.

Thursday: Walgreens Boots Alliance                                

Walgreens Boots Alliance reports fiscal 2020 third-quarter results in the morning.

  • Projected EPS: $1.20
  • Projected revenue: $34.3 billion

“These guys truly are the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. I think they’ll offer us the usual number cuts,” and “once again we’ll conclude that there’s no room for Walgreens in a world where Amazon is king,” he said.

Friday: Producer Price Index

“I’m wondering if we’re going to start worrying that we did print $2 trillion worth of money to get what’s happening to keep the economy afloat — business interruption insurance,” he said. “Honestly, though, the inflation hawks have been wrong year after year after year.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Amazon.


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