Industrial stocks can keep climbing, but there aren’t enough

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Industrial stocks can keep climbing, but there aren't enough


As CNBC’s Jim Cramer watched the averages jump to new intraday highs on Monday, he wondered about the welfare of one very strong sector: the cyclicals.

“There’s a shortage of good cyclical stocks,” the “Mad Money” host said. “I never thought I’d say that because we’ve had such a prolonged period of slow growth where most of the economically sensitive names seemed to fall by the wayside. But now it’s crystal clear: we’ve got a stock shortage in the sector, plain and simple.”

Cramer pointed to how strong construction plays like Caterpillar have gotten. Their strength is due to the fact that there aren’t enough good public companies in that space to own, he said.

One competitor is Terex, but it doesn’t have a great balance sheet and is based in Finland, meaning a corporate tax cut wouldn’t be a huge benefit, Cramer said. Another is crane manufacturer Manitowoc, but it’s small and also doesn’t have much U.S. business.

“The old standbys — Illinois Tool Works, Ingersoll-Rand, Parker-Hannifin, 3M, Emerson [Electric] and Eaton — they’ve all run so much that it’s tough to touch them,” Cramer said. “But if you want industrial exposure, you may not have a choice.”

Aerospace giants like Boeing, United Technologies and Honeywell also can’t seem to quit, so much so that Cramer thinks their trajectories are nowhere near over.

“Anything with aerospace has a predilection to go higher,” he said.

A common thread among these industrial companies is that their managements consistently buy back stock, making it difficult to get a hold of their shares, the “Mad Money” host said.

That’s why it’s possible for them all to run higher, even after these rip-roaring runs, Cramer added.

“Now, of course I am generalizing,” he said. “There are more industrials out there that you could buy. Plus, it’s not like you need to own them all. And let’s be honest: this is a very high-quality problem.”

Industrial giants like these could also benefit from a host of Washington-led initiatives, from the GOP tax overhaul to the president’s infrastructure plan.

“We used to have hundreds of these kinds of companies, now there are merely dozens. And with the economy going into overdrive, this scarcity of stock simply assures that they simply aren’t done going higher,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Hence why the cyclicals remain among the best places to be.”



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