Some stocks are bright spots in slow-growth market

General Mills and others like it are perfect illustrations as to why.

By Jim Cramer Jun 27, 2013 10:03AM

thestreet logoImage: Stock investor (© Tom Grill/Corbis)We're getting this growing consensus from CEOs we talk to that the U.S. gross domestic product is on about a 2% growth path -- and maybe, if stretched, 2.5%. Now, no one in his right mind is going to say that's terrific. No one can be happy with that level of growth.

 

Except when you consider that Europe, where 38% of the world's business is found, would kill for that -- not to mention the envy people have in South America for that kind of growth. It is certainly true that China has faster growth.


However, we are in some weird moment when the deceleration from fast growth to slower growth is much more painful and disrupting than just permanent slower growth. The latter is exactly what the U.S. seems to be offering.

 

Within the confines of that kind of growth, you can see why there is something for everyone pretty much every day of the week. Just think about General Mills (GIS) Wednesday. Think about the life cycle of an earnings report. The day starts with a headline that says revenue estimates are disappointing. The stock gets hit down to $46 in premarket trading, even before we've heard from the company via conference call -- and anyone who has followed this company long enough knows that Ken Powell, the CEO, always puts on a good show.

 

So the stock starts its slow climb back up. Mills is the perfect microcosm for the moment, because as the news unfolded, it turned out there was simply no reason to sell the stock at $46. In fact, when it got to that level, it had a dividend yield of 3.25%. That's a bargain on a day when the 10-year U.S. Treasury is actually strong and yields are going down. Then, when the stock got to $47, you realized the company had already issued a pre-earnings report, and it was basically being its old conservative self as the headlines rolled out.

 

Then, at $48, you kind of had to say, "OK, there's nothing new here. If the economy were downshifting to 1%, it would be a buy, but if it upshifts to 3%, it's a sell." That's why the stock finished where it had started off.

We have a ton of stocks that are like General Mills right now. They have come back down to levels where they aren't cheap or expensive after they'd spent some elevated time as bond market equivalents. It is going to be hard to get them off the dime if the U.S. stays at this 2% range of economic growth.

 

But here is what's important about that: These stocks have reached some level at which, because of their consistency and their dividend policies, it isn't worth selling them either. I think the action in General Mills explains why the market has stabilized. With this level of growth, you simply no longer want to sell stocks that look and act like General Mills.

 

Certainly you are more attracted to cyclical stocks that could do better if you think the second half is going to give you 3% economic growth. That's why, when you get an upgrade of a company like Western Digital (WDC) or Seagate (STX), two uber-low-multiple stocks, you know you have winners. You are going to be drawn to companies like Boeing (BA), too. Wednesday night on "Mad Money," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney traced out a 20-year secular growth path for the company. That stock can go much higher.

 

But the main takeaway I can see here is stasis for the part of the market that had been falling apart. The General Mills-like companies out there -- with this Federal Reserve right now and this economic growth right now -- are just plain, well, hunky dory. They are clearly opportunities to be bought down a couple from where they are now, but they are opportunities to be sold if they climb back to where they had been before the Fed's May 22 signal that the economy's risk is now toward acceleration and not de-acceleration.

 

The Big G doesn't have the cyclicality the market craves, but it doesn't have the pitfalls the market fears. So there's nothing to do and, sometimes when there is nothing to do, it's a terrific statement for the market as a whole. Because this huge cohort just isn't going to hurt us anymore -- at least from these levels.

 

jim cramer

 

Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust  and no positions in stocks mentioned.

 

 


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57Comments
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Gee Cramer the world's economy is still going down the Death Spiral of Lost Jobs and an ever weaker and weaker economy and you act like everythign is fine and that 2 percent growth is fantastic.

 

Pretty much Bernanke still pumping a $1 trillion dollars into the economy and the Federal government borrowing north of $1 trillion dollars a year and interest rates at zero

 

Should tell you that five years after 2008 that the US and world economy is still on death's bed.

 

Wake up and smell the collapse that is soon going to happen.

Jun 27, 2013 10:33AM
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I bet Cramer's getting ready to dump his shares in these companies.
Jun 27, 2013 1:55PM
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REPOSTED FOR THE NIGHT OWLS:

Fat Cat said:

["Florida? What a POS state. Full of Mexicans, Cubans, Blacks, white trash drifters, and Canadian Snowbirds.

It has the highest violent crime rate in the country, and at one time, a quarter million ex-cons on parole until they got rid of it. 
Drugs are everywhere, the weather is boiling hot, the beaches are dirty, and the fish aren't fit to eat.
Yeah what a paradise"! ]
 
I hate (not really) to do this to you:
Most dangerous places to live; In chicago, N. Lawndale, washington PK., N. & NE Auburn Gresham.
In Indianapolis; Rockland & between NW Kihwaukee & 15th St.
Flint, Michigan.
Saginaw, Michigan: Cathedral Dist.
Detroit, Mich: Between Ravendale & LaSalle college pk, Bartan Mcfarland & east of it as well, and the most dangerous place; Islandview (sad joke)
 
Now take a look at all that plastic in your great lakes ! That must be your fish you can't eat- ours are perfect. If you would like to see how healthy our fish are, come down to Monster hole on the East coast- we have a few 10-12 foot 'pets' for you to get up close and personal with.
 
Your points describe demographics every city in the USA- BTW- what did the Canadians do to you ? I just love Crown Royal- thank you Canada !
 
And our beaches are some of the best in the world- And if you can't take the heat - stay out !
 
You might want to come outside once and a while and look around your own area before you 1 -get shot at, & 2 - get sick from all that pollution.
 
One more thing: A-SHARP IS  B-FLAT ! REMEMBER ME NOW? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Jun 27, 2013 10:43AM
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western digital and seagate?  are they even still in business?  who's using hard drives anymore?  who's buying PC's anymore?
Jun 27, 2013 2:47PM
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If the economy is recovering, maybe they'll restart the White House tours.  But, the last time I stopped there the door was locked.

 

 

Jun 27, 2013 2:31PM
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REGAL....I didn't miss anything.....And you neither read well nor comprehend.

In 1965 I was fighting in a War....Berkshire didn't mean shidt to me.

In 1983 was raising a family, working and running a farm...Berkshire still didn't mean shidt to me.

You said 15 years ago a 10K investment in Berk would yield 1,000,000...

You do not calculate well either.

BerkB wasn't around, and don't think you could of only bought 10K of Berk. 

Seems the SWest Sun has baked your brains...

And Berkshire still doesn't mean shidt to me..

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Over 15k again, so much emotion, so little fundamentals.
Jun 27, 2013 11:34AM
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Buying and selling based on government actions.  A strange way to make money, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Jun 27, 2013 2:09PM
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Try as they may and try as they might their attempts at creating a positive attitude for anticipating  prosperity by printing money, hopefully creating inflation,  and screwing with peoples minds will still fail.  The rope to the life ring gets longer and longer yet the American consumer is being swept away just a little bit faster and faster.  You see that white water up ahead.   Yikes that looks like the falls.  We are now in silly time folks.  These FED cats knows it is a lost cause yet they take turns now baring their backsides to the American Investor, hoping of course something other than reality may appear.   Markets are the reality folks and screwing with them as these politicos are now will only make them seem that much more brutal in due time.  JMHO
Jun 27, 2013 3:14PM
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The last hour of the day and we are hanging in there....Do not take anything for granted though; you know how manipulators love the last 30 minutes of the day and start doing their thing...We shall see...More after the close.
Jun 27, 2013 2:23PM
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Anyone out there know a little about silver and its' pros and cons?
Jun 27, 2013 3:36PM
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The smart traders smile and say little.  The stupid traders get fleeced then come on here to proclaim, "The Market is Rigged"  then they cry.
Jun 27, 2013 4:54PM
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As expected, the last 30 minutes scumbags gave it a run, to no avail though; we didn't end up 160 but we take 114 any day of the week....We see this over and over folks, that's why we insist, do not take anything for granted, not at 1000 hrs in the morning and much less close to 1600 hrs in the afternoon...Pay attention to the small caps tomorrow.....Crooks are itching to do their thing now...Oh well...We shall see.
Jun 27, 2013 11:09AM
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buy and homework? looks like buy and hold for aa at 18...gold at 1900...aapl at 700.

 

few things are for sure.........following this hack's advice WILL lose you money FOR SURE

Jun 27, 2013 1:05PM
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Barry, come to Morton`s steak house next Wednesday and ask for me.We`re having our

meeting in the afternoon.You wouldn`t know what in the heck we`re talking about.You`ld

realize then you`re not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Jun 27, 2013 12:52PM
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WHOA....BUICK REGAL....!!!

 

Buffet's Stock, Assuming you are talking about BRK.A or BRK.B, pretty hard to also accomplish your assertion about their increases in Value(FMV)

 

Don't believe BerkB was even around 15 years ago...Came about after they bought BNSF Railroad.

Because of my interest and or participation...B's lowest price has been near $45 or so over the years.

TODAY at about $113 and change less then a triple....Sooooooooo !!

 

BerkA hasn't been at much below $60K-70K in the last 15 years(maybe) and not really sure you could have ever bought a partial share or that small of an amount...Today's value about $170K.

Anyhooooo.....

So there certainly isn't any increase of  a 10 or 100 bagger there either....

PLEASE USE BETTER EXAMPLES, I'm not real big on bullshidt stock prices...okay..? 

Jun 27, 2013 2:45PM
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Gregory you might get 10 different opinions here..

If you want 20 different opinions, and more knowledgable..Try going to kitco(dot) com.

It's the best site I know of for Gold,Silver and other precious metals...

Several authors and analysts commentary also...Spot prices and charts.

 

Silver is down like Gold right now, and some are saying a breakout to the upside..

PMs (precious metals) are near support levels on the downsides..

I don't deal with bullion or ETFs or other Funds...Sometimes a little coin.

Mostly just Goldminers and their stocks...We are down a bunch right now.

Check out Silver Wheaton or other silver investments, and maybe a dealer in bullion.

Do your research to be safe...Good Luck.

Jun 27, 2013 3:15PM
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with gold at 1900 he said, "buy gold,every portfolio should have up to 20% gold "

 

this statement alone shows what a hack he is

 

Jun 27, 2013 12:50PM
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Barry, the policy on food stamps is too liberal.That`s not Obama`s fault.I`m much better off.You

missed the bull market,that`s why you`re bitter.The Dow would be 5,000 if nut cases like

Romney took office.His history is to only look after himself and his rich buddies.You can

cry all you want about the IRS,etc,etc.If you were smart you`ld be enjoying the Ameican

dream like me.Get over and clean my pool!I`m paying $1.60 an hour.Just what you crybaby

Repubs deserve!

Jun 27, 2013 11:24AM
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Where are those sour puss bears that last week said the Dow was going down to

5,000?

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