Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P ended Wednesday with unremarkable moves, pros like Jim Cramer are focused on something else.
"There seem to be lemmings all over the market," said Jim Cramer.
Lemmings are animals thought to have such strong impulses to 'follow the crowd' they'll follow one another over the side of a cliff and ultimately to their demise.
Cramer thinks investors are mimicking that behavior; that is, investors are following one another blindly to the 'sell' button, rather than evaluating market fundamentals
However the stock sold-off as investors feared strength was more about tax treatment than the success of its drugs. But more important, the negative sentiment generated by Lilly triggered declines in rivals AbbVie (ABBV), Bristol Myers (BMY)and Pfizer (PFE).
The Mad Money host thinks the same phenomenon is behind the decline in biotech, too, after Amgen (AMGN) sales disappointed although the company beat estimates.
Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Peacock told analysts on a conference call not to worry. "We are well positioned to achieve our full year revenue growth projections," he said.
Nonetheless, shares declined 7% the worst decline in at least 3 years. As a result investors also punished rivals Gilead (GILD), Biogen (BIIB) and Celgene (CELG). "But there was no crime," said Cramer.
The phenomenon doesn't appear to be limited to drug stocks. Cramer sees it across a wide range of sectors.
"How about telecom and AT&T (NYSE:T)," he added. AT&T reported a decline in revenue that was below market expectations, but the company added more wireless subscribers than expected, driven by sales of tablet computers with cellular connections.
Nonetheless, "AT&T's 'weakness' was subsequently used as an excuse to sell Verizon (VZ)," Cramer said.
Even more lemmings.
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The same phenomenon appears to be underway in consumer staples sector, too.
"Procter & Gamble's (PG) beat was regarded as a beat with no soul," said Cramer. As a result, Cramer said investors sold Colgate (CL), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Clorox (CLX) and even PepsiCo (PEP) and Hershey (HSY) - all finished the session in the red.
So many lemmings.
What's the bottom line?
Cramer can't help but question the weakness in many of the stocks listed above; in other words he wonders if the selling was really warranted by fundamentals or if it was simply one seller following another.
"Now, I understand that some of these stocks were up too much," Cramer conceded. "But in many cases these stocks have the characteristics of classic growth equities: that is, terrific prospects, strong predictable growth that's not expensive in the out-years, and crystal clear balance sheets to fund them."
Cramer thinks it's entirely possible that investors clobbered some of these stocks recklessly.
"Could this be an opportunity," Cramer mused. "Perhaps. But, then again, there may be far too many lemmings in the market."
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