Growth stocks are out and cyclicals are back in a big way this week, Jim Cramer said on Tuesday.
The CNBC host said that the market is a reflection of how institutional investors view the future and recommended that individual investors play the rotation.
“I think you need to view it as an opportunity to get in, not get out,” Cramer said. “If a high-quality stock is down enough, like Merck (NYSE: MRK) was… then that’s your chance to pounce.”
Merck is down -3.24% over the last week and sank as much as -8.9% between Monday’s high and Tuesday’s low.
So far this year, MRK has been in a solid uptrend and has gained nearly 20% over the past twelve months, thanks in part to the introduction of its Keytruda cancer treatment for lung cancer.
Cramer noted that the company is exploring the drug’s usefulness for treating other types of cancer.
“I think it’s the rotation out of stocks that thrive in a slowing economy and into stocks that thrive in an accelerating economy,” Cramer said. “In other words, Merck’s gone out of style on that Wall Street fashion show… Merck’s not going to benefit from the expected rate cut, so the stock has lost its appeal for now.”
Cramer also pointed to Visa (NYSE: V) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA), which are down -3.65% and -5.37%, respectively, over the last week. These two stocks were seeing a benefit from the secular growth in financial technology, while also giving investors exposure to the financial sector without actually owning bank stocks.
“If this market wants to toss out high-quality merchandise, let their trash be your treasure,” Cramer said.
Of these three stocks, analysts are most bullish on Merck and Visa, and their average price targets would see these stocks 12% and nearly 11% higher, respectively, over the next twelve months.
Last month, SVB Leerink analyst Daina M. Graybosch initiated coverage of Merck, rating the stock an Outperform and setting a price target of $103 – nearly 24% above Thursday’s closing price.
“We believe investors underappreciate the potential for: long-term, diverse Keytruda revenues… [and] return from MRK’s aggressive strategy to explore… and then pursue… promising Keytruda add-on approaches to extend Keytruda’s competitive moat and lifecycle beyond patentlife,” Graybosch wrote in a research report on the stock.
As for Visa, Guggenheim Securities analyst Jeff Cantwell said late last month that the stock is a Buy considering the company’s new growth opportunities.
After a positive meeting the Visa’s chief financial officer, Cantwell wrote, “We’ve come away from the meeting with greater conviction that V’s ‘network of networks’ strategy is significantly expanding the company’s opportunity set – and as a consequence, we see V continuing to generate strong volume growth.”
Cantwell reiterated his price target for Visa at $199, suggesting possible upside of nearly 12% over the next twelve months.