CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday he’s starting to question the ability of value stocks to outperform growth counterparts even as Wall Street worries about a more aggressive Federal Reserve.
In particular, the “Mad Money” host said he’s concerned about the value-oriented industrial stocks, citing an assortment of problems facing their businesses, including supply chains and labor challenges related to the coronavirus.
“If you want a value stock here, pick one where we know there aren’t any supply chain, semiconductor or Covid woes. Otherwise, it’s going to be tough without owning some predictable, profitable growth [stocks],” Cramer said after a second straight session of strong gains for the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite.
“The growth selling is over, the value selling has begun. That’s my takeaway from today’s action,” Cramer added. However, he acknowledged there will be some exceptions, pointing to Otis Worldwide after the elevator maker reported earnings earlier Monday. “But I’m betting that’s a rarity,” Cramer said.
Instead, Cramer said this earnings season has revealed cracks in the thesis surrounding industrial value stocks that were embraced in earnest in late November. Over the past three months, the iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) is down nearly 5%, compared with a gain of 0.5% for the iShares S&P 500 Value ETF (IVE).
“One by one, we had big, industrial value plays like GE, 3M, Boeing and Caterpillar report subpar numbers that made us question the legitimacy of the value rally,” Cramer said. “These companies are all feeling the sting of supply chain woes, inflation, port congestions, and worst of all, Covid.”
That picture stands in stark contrast to what some growth-oriented tech companies like ServiceNow and Microsoft have reported in recent days, Cramer said. He said those strong quarters — devoid of the supply chain struggles hitting industrials — have helped Wall Street regain confidence in the growth cohort, particularly in light of Netflix‘s poor results.
The growth-focused IVW is up 3.3% in the past five days, while the value IVE is up just 1%.
“How long can this growth rebound rally last? Arguably, as long as value stocks have to deal with supply chain, semiconductor and Covid worries,” Cramer said, adding that growth stocks are benefiting from a dramatic slowdown in the number of new public listings.
“I don’t want companies that make excuses, even when those excuses make sense. Anything that results in a number cut is a nightmare; beat and raise will always take precedence for me,” he added.
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