Investors are exhibiting optimism around the Covid vaccine rollout, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said, and it fueled a rally in U.S. stocks Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 453.40 points, or 1.4%, while the broad S&P 500 advanced 1.7% to close at a record. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, after being down 0.8% at one point, finished the trading day higher by 1.2%.
“Virtually every sector saw aggressive buying except for the once-hot, very-expensive and hard-to-understand tech stocks,” the “Mad Money” host said. “I think it’s all about the ‘Great Reopening’ as the United States will have received 240 million vaccines by next week from Moderna, Pfizer and J&J as they ramp up.”
The increased vaccine availability means bottled-up consumer demand is making its way into the economy sooner than expected, Cramer said. He pointed to L Brands — the owner of Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret — raising its profit outlook for the first quarter Friday. The company’s shares rose over 3% during the session.
“The reopening trade is casting a wide net,” Cramer said. “I think that the buying was so powerful that it obscured the endless liquidation of stocks that were once loved by younger buyers,” he added.
It’s not exactly clear where the new market participants went, Cramer said. Nevertheless, he said, it seems “the old guard is back in charge.”
“For once, the ‘Great Reopening’ trade felt like a tremendous positive today … with lots of winners and very few losers,” he added. “If that’s the new normal, call me a happy camper, but let’s see if it holds up next week.”
Cramer offered his game plan for the upcoming earnings slate:
A sign is displayed on a Lululemon Athletica Inc. store in Pasadena, California.
- First quarter fiscal 2021 results before the bell; conference call at 8 a.m. ET
- Projected EPS: 59 cents, according to FactSet
“We are going to learn how much this company thrives under the ‘Great Reopening.’ Here’s the problem: McCormick has a huge food service business where they supply restaurants, and that’s been a real dog,” Cramer said. “But the stock’s had a fabulous run over the past year because its consumer business thrived under the stay-at-home economy. Now, I think people will assume the stock has run its course now that we’re vaccinating more than 2.5 million people per day.”
- Fourth quarter 2020 results after the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday
- Projected loss per share: 32 cents, according to FactSet
- Fourth quarter fiscal 2020 results after the bell; conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday
- Projected EPS: $2.49, according to FactSet
“After the close, we hear from an apparel company that’s considered a victim of the pandemic, PVH, and one that’s widely seen as a Covid winner, Lululemon,” Cramer said. “I think the market’s made up its mind that this is PVH’s time to shine — it’s been roaring ever since the vaccine rollout began in earnest. Lulu, on the other hand … it’s been shunned because everyone thinks of their stuff as the kind of casual apparel that you wear when you’re staying home from work and no one is looking at you. Let’s see what they have to say.”
- Fourth quarter 2020 results after the bell; conference call at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday
- Projected loss per share: 10 cents, according to FactSet
- Fourth quarter 2020 results after the bell; conference call at 5:30 p.m. ET
- Projected EPS: 3 cents, according to FactSet
Both Chewy and BlackBerry are stocks favored by investors who gather in online forums like Reddit’s WallStreetBets, Cramer said.
“The WallStreetBets crew like Chewy because it was co-founded by Ryan Cohen. He’s the man with a plan to turn around GameStop from his perch on the board of directors,” Cramer said. “As for Blackberry, it’s one of the meme stocks that caught fire in January thanks to a Reddit-induced short squeeze. I don’t see the appeal. Maybe the quarter can change my mind. Don’t hold your breath.”
- Fiscal 2021 second quarter results before the bell; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET
- Projected EPS: $1.13, according to FactSet
New Walgreens CEO Rosalind Brewer is “one of my absolute favorite execs,” Cramer said. “Hopefully she’ll tell us some of her plans to boost sales. Brewer comes from Starbucks, where she was the COO, and speaking as someone who owns Starbucks for my charitable trust,…
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