With Amazon’s stock down over 125 basis points from its high, CNBC’s Jim Cramer couldn’t help but wonder if the e-commerce giant was the most vulnerable of the top tech stocks.
“As I scan the big-capitalization tech and growth stocks, this one keeps standing out among the weakest, and I can see the bear case unfolding right in front of me,” the “Mad Money” host said. “A month ago, Amazon seemed invincible, didn’t it? That’s not the tale of the tape any longer.”
While Cramer nodded to the power and machine-learning capabilities of Amazon’s voice-enabled technology, Alexa, he saw the announcement as a clear attempt to stem Amazon’s domination.
“Wal-Mart’s not going to be outdone with its Google partnership. They have too much money riding on this fight and the company keeps assuring me that we ain’t seen nothing yet out of theses partnerships. I like this battle royal. Plus, Google may know even more about you than Amazon does,” Cramer said. “Combine Google and Walmart, and for the first time — maybe the first time in a long time, maybe the first time ever — it feels like Amazon could have a real rival, someone to fear and loathe on the Alexa trail.”
Given that Whole Foods’ shareholders approved Amazon’s takeover of the high-end grocery chain, Amazon will have to spend a lot of money on its acquisition in the particularly low-margin supermarket business. Hence, an earnings improvement seems increasingly unlikely, Cramer said.
To make matters worse, companies are starting to clarify their strategies for dealing with Amazon. For example, Macy’s brought in an eBay executive to help refine its online business, and Lowe’s, despite a weak quarter, is getting ready to up its online presence.
Now, Amazon does have traction with Amazon Web Services, its cloud-based hosting business that, as Cramer often hears, outpaces competitors like Google Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
“But … think about the tie-up between the Google device and Wal-Mart after today’s news. What happens if Wal-Mart calls all of its suppliers and says, ‘Hey, you know what? If you want in on this program with Google, it only works if you’re using Google’s web services, not Amazon’s.'” Cramer said. “What then? Do the suppliers want to lose that business? Do they want to cross the Bentonville colossus? How about if they offer you help to get off of Amazon Web Services? Would you refuse?”
That said, Amazon is not exactly sitting still, gearing into “spend mode” as it perfects the execution plans for its monumental Whole Foods acquisition, Cramer said.
“If that’s the case, then you could see why so many prominent technicians … have decided that Amazon’s chart has a real bearish pattern and that institutions may be figuring out the vulnerability of this monster and its chart and want to take a pause until more institutions understand what could be wrong with the Amazon story.”
So while the market froths about what to do with the e-commerce giant, Cramer issued a word of caution about the action in stocks as massively influential as Amazon’s.
“If stocks like Amazon keep getting hit, that could indeed reverberate through this whole market, especially in a thin month like August where the trading is just, well, let’s just say almost non-existent,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Long term, I know. Amazon: what a company, what a stock. Short term: the A in FANG, by the end of this month, it could be belonging to the stock of Apple.”