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There are few things CNBC’s Jim Cramer likes more than a broad-based rally, and often times, unknown stocks are the ones driving the gains.
“At a time when so many stocks have come up so far so fast, I think it’s worth calling attention to these stealth out-performers that, in many ways, are far more emblematic of this advance than a Facebook or a Netflix or an Alphabet,” the “Mad Money” host said.
One such stock is LKQ Corporation, a little-known $11 billion auto parts giant that distributes alternative and specialty car parts. Many of its products are recycled from car accidents.
With shares up 33 percent since April, LKQ has been quietly building up its business, making a series of strong, international acquisitions and integrating them well.
The company has purchased a number of European auto parts players just in time for the continent-wide economic rebound, giving it the scale and bargaining power to negotiate with suppliers.
“The bottom line? I love this kind of story. It’s meat and potatoes. LKQ is exactly the kind of quiet, unheralded, under-the-radar winner that makes this market so powerful. I think it deserves more credit. That’s why I’m sponsoring it and why I’m pounding the table,” Cramer said. “Given the strength of the numbers and the stock’s cheapness, I bet the completely anonymous LKQ has a lot more room to run. Sure, I’d like it on a pullback. That’ll give you a chance to get to know the company, not just the initials, before you take the plunge.”
It’s easy to forget that stocks can trade, and trade viciously, on the trends of supply and demand, Cramer said on Thursday.
“Like any other market, when there’s too much demand, stocks go higher, and when there’s too much supply … stocks go lower,” Cramer said. “Today, you could see those supply and demand dynamics in action … and that led to some very difficult trading.”
When it comes to demand, the technology sector is a clear leader, Cramer said. Investors are hungry for everything from semiconductor and gaming stocks to those tied to e-commerce, social media and software.
Supply is still rife in the struggling retail sector, in which companies are slashing prices to avoid being crushed by high-volume online retailers like Amazon.
Oil stocks are also lagging on a surplus of inventory as energy companies continue to sell oil futures at $50 despite the International Energy Agency’s bearish outlook for the fate of oil.
Domino’s Pizza President and CEO Patrick Doyle told CNBC on Thursday that pizza delivery is getting a major reboot.
“We’ve been talking about natural voice as how we think people are going to interact with technology for a while. We started investing in it three or four years ago,” Doyle told Cramer in an exclusive interview.
Now, Doyle’s starting to see his pizza-meets-tech giant’s investments bear fruit, he told Cramer.
“Alexa, now, of our AnyWare suite of products, has been really the strongest for us in terms of total number of orders. That keeps growing,” the CEO said. “Google Home’s doing well. We’re looking at other ways we can use that. So that’s important from an ordering perspective.”
Doyle also highlighted Domino’s partnership with Ford to test self-driving cars for pizza delivery. Announced in August, the project will be a continuation of Domino’s tech-enabled delivery experiments, which have included drone and robot delivery tests.
“[With] this relationship with Ford and the testing we’ve been doing on autonomous vehicles, we’re figuring out new ways to deliver to people. It’s going to take some time, but we’re excited about it,” Doyle said.
Cramer is hoping to see strategic changes made at Procter & Gamble after the consumer foods giant narrowly won a proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz.
“Why not expect some change?” he said. “Nearly half the shareholders who voted agreed with Peltz that Procter is too insular and not innovative enough when it comes to developing smaller new brands into larger established ones. That’s what Peltz was pushing for in a nutshell.”
Considering the millions of dollars Procter & Gamble spent to fight Peltz over the investor’s desired board seat, Cramer thought it fair to expect change, particularly because the company won the vote by such a small margin.
It’s probably in Procter & Gamble’s interests to incite some sort of change, the “Mad Money” host said, pointing to the weakness among consumer packaged goods stocks.
Only three exceptions exist — Estee Lauder, Clorox and Unilever — and all three have stark similarities that Cramer said Procter & Gamble should take to heart.