We're not winning the war, and when we are losing it, we buy the Cramer Covid-19 index. I wish there were more to it, but when the virus rages, when it seems we can't stop it, you go back to the well and buy, regardless of the valuation.
Today's rally was especially discouraging to those who think the market should go down with the inability of Congress to agree with the president over how to get more money to the unemployed now that the $600 in added benefits per week has expired. They are baffled about how stocks seem to celebrate the new hot spots, the rising state case counts and the new round of closures of flagging establishments.
Rather than lament, I say let's go to the tape, discover what's winning and describe why. I want to go over the Top 15 performing stocks in the index, so you understand why it is so simple that the market acts this way. There's simply nothing counterintuive or berserk about it. The list is fluid, so I took the midday gains as a measure.
First is Fastly (FSLY) , a big day-trader favorite, which has a platform that plays an important role in providing stability and support to tens of thousands of websites that deliver news and e-commerce. They work with Shopify (SHOP) , the New York Times (NYT) , Slack (WORK) , Microsoft's (MSFT) Github, a competitor of Atlassian (TEAM) , and Pinterest (PIN) , which is also on tonight. It's proving irresistible to the neophytes some of which might know what it does.
Second is Chegg (CHGG) . So many colleges are going online for courses, you better believe this textbook and self-help business has a stock that is soaring. Dan Rosensweig's company is kind of a dream come true for stay-at-home students. Shouldn't college tuition be halved if you can't go to the campus or hang out anywhere if you do?
Third is Chewy (CHWY) , and if you have pets and you are shut in or working from home, you use Chewy. Again, another company like Chegg that might have been doing OK right now but, instead is on fire. It's a pandemic playground.
Fourth, nothing like a pandemic to turn an exercise bike into an ecosystem. When the gym is closed, you take the clothes off the expensive clothes rack that is the Peloton (PTON) bike and prepare to sweat off that Truly or White Claw with Ally Love, who will crush you. She's integral to the flywheel that is Peloton, apologies to Flywheel, the spinning brick and mortar competitor.
Fifth, if Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is going to give us several billion vials of vaccines, it will need Emergent Bio's (EBS) help. It has the capacity and the skill set to help. Instead of being puzzled about why stocks are going up, think about how when we get the vaccine it has to be in quantities that make it work. Think Emergent Bio.
Sixth, diabetics are far more likely to perish from the virus than any other segment of the population and Livongo (LVGO) is a life coach that specializes in helping diabetics. Does it get more pertinent than that?
Seventh, when you hear that the disease is raging, you know that the stay-at-home, work-at-home contingent is only going to grow, not shrink. No elevators. No social distancing. No masks, except when you go outside. But how do you stay in touch? Zoom (ZM) is now ingrained in our lives. Any word that becomes a verb is going places.
Eighth, Etsy (ETSY) where you can get craft masks but, more important, you can build a business from your kitchen table or garage. I like Etsy for its specialty crafts. We've bought everything from beautiful aprons for our waiters to beer spouts for our bar. Who knows how well we are going to do when we are actually able to serve customers in the restaurant.
Ninth, what's a hot 100 list without Shopify, which helps more than hundreds of thousands of small business people fulfill their products and their dreams. It's also become an engine for large consumer product companies. Now, at $122 billion, it is the largest company in Canada. Remember it helps its retailers, doesn't just take their checks.
Tenth is Trade Desk (TTD) , which powers ads on the internet. I am thinking this is a derivation of the possibility that Microsoft gets TikTok and makes it much more advertiser friendly. Trade Desk is a competitor to Alphabet (GOOGL) and is therefore liked by those clients that compete with the search giant.
Eleventh: You need a web presence and don't have one? You just go to Wix (WIX) like we did when we started our restaurant. It wasn't hard. In fact I don't know any competitor for small businesses. My wife helped design the Longshoreman's presence, with Wix's help, of course.
Twelfth: Fire sale! That's right the president's decision to close TikTok in America. If there's no deal to sell it means that Microsoft, which wants it, will get it for a fraction of what it is worth. It's just a huge win for a company that has no real social media presence. Microsoft is blessed; no other company can compete with it, save Verizon (VZ) and I don't know if Verizon wants to double down on its media platform, Yahoo and AOL, or write the darned thing off. Verizon would be nuts not to buy it and it would immediately be blessed by even the hawks in the White House who are none-too-happy about a company with so much business in China getting this plum.
Thirteen is Nvidia (NVDA) . This is more of a rebound play. On Friday rumors swirled that it might pay billions and billions for SoftBank Group's (SFTBF) Arm Holdings. Here's one where if they do purchase Arm, you buy more because Jensen Huang knows it would be correct, and if they don't, you buy it, because you know he would be correct. These kinds of things are child's play for the man I have recognized as the modern day da Vinci, albeit a lot cooler and much less of a loner and more of a leader.
Fourteen is Beyond Meat (BYND) was already in Costco (COST) , which reports monthly numbers Wednesday. But now it is in BJ's (BJ) and Walmart's (WMT) Sams. These are huge outlets. Beyond Meat is keeping prices low because CEO Ethan Brown wants people to sample it because he is that confident that customers will love it. I think he's right. If he can drive the price under that of meat, it's the biggest win. When Covid rages, you cook at home. The more food outlets, the more the revenue numbers go higher.
Finally, 15: Salesforce (CRM) . What can I say? The cloud's on fire. Companies are digitizing all over the place. That means there's more work for Salesforce.com. Its "work" platform is the best way to learn how to open up safely, not stupidly, like so many have.
Now you know why stocks can go higher on days like this. These companies all do better with a pandemic than without. They aren't mall retailers. They aren't auto companies. They aren't banks. They aren't traditional industrials. Or even drug companies. They are companies with businesses that have huge demand because of a pandemic that has accelerated usage while wiping out the competition.
So stop saying the market makes no sense. And start understanding that the Cramer Covid-19 Index is your buy list as long as the plague continues to rage.