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“Remember what’s at stake here. We are now in the midst of earnings season, where we can piece together a mosaic of what’s really going on in the economy. If the economy’s fabulous, then the Fed’s current course — one rate hike in December followed by three more next year — is correct,” the “Mad Money” host said after the Fed reaffirmed its rate-hike plans.
But if the economy turns out to be weaker than it appears, then the Fed’s moves could prove dire for both Wall Street and Main Street, he warned.
The only way to find out if the Fed’s right is to look at the data, Cramer said. And right now, he sees a mixed bag.
First, he pointed to the latest earnings reports from railroad giant CSX and airline operator United Continental, both of which were much stronger than expected and helped the Fed’s case for raising interest rates quickly.
“But … when you assemble the rest of the economic pastiche, you find some areas that are downright hideous,” Cramer said. “Housing starts … fell 5.3 percent. The apologists were out saying, ‘It’s the storms.’ Will you give me a break? That’s a shocking and terrible number.”
Instead of trying to overshoot inflation with lockstep rate hikes, Cramer suggested that the Fed take a more measured, data-focused approach.
“The Fed seems to want to ignore anything negative,” he said. “Instead, they just want to lay down on the tracks of CSX. I’m calling them out as lazy and irresponsible.”
Click here for more of Cramer’s analysis.
“Once again, reports of FAANG’s death proved to be premature,” he said Wednesday after Netflix’s earnings beat. “And, amazingly, I think Alphabet and Amazon have both come down enough that they can be purchased at these very levels.”
Shares of Amazon, the largest position in Cramer’s charitable trust, fell last week amid widespread weakness in the technology sector and the broader market. But with the stock still far from its highs, Cramer liked the opportunity.
“You know I think Amazon’s doing incredibly well,” he said. “Amazon’s three business — retail, web services and advertising — are doing very well and I bet the earnings will be just fine even though they’re now paying workers $15 an hour.”
Click here for his take on the rest of FAANG.
Cramer has been pinpointing the most investable stocks in sectors from health care to energy, and on Wednesday, he turned to what he called “the most fraught cohort in this entire market”: the industrials.
“If there’s one thing I know from running a hedge fund, it’s that the industrials become very tough to own when interest rates are rising,” the “Mad Money” host said after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its aggressive rate hike agenda.
“The Fed thinks the economy got too hot and they want to cool it down,” he continued. “But the industrials do really well in a hot economy; they do much worse in a colder economy.”
Cramer didn’t want investors to avoid the group entirely, but asked them to be more selective. He noted that some subgroups, like aerospace, are still holding up despite others, like the auto industry, seeing widespread weakness.
Click here for the top five industrial stocks he believes are the most investable right now.
Housing is likely to remain in focus for Wall Street as the Fed prepares to hike rates in December, especially if the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield continues to rise as well, First Horizon National Chairman and CEO Bryan Jordan said Wednesday.
“Purchase activity continues to still be OK, but it does seem to be getting impacted from rate increases,” Jordan told Cramer in an exclusive interview. “To the extent that the 10-year continues to move up, I would expect that housing sales, housing transactions would continue to come under pressure simply because of the underlying mortgage rates.”
Total mortgage applications fell 7.1 percent since last week, a symptom of rising rates. But even considering the Fed’s planned rate hikes, Jordan said business at his Tennessee-based bank would likely stay healthy in the near-term.
“I think you see a tremendous amount of confidence in both consumers and business, small business in particular. I think the economy continues to grow at a pretty healthy rate, and whether the Fed raises or not, I think we’re getting closer to the end of that cycle,” the CEO said. “But I believe, like you, the market indicates it’s fully priced in. I think it’s priced in and I think we’re likely to get another move. But I don’t think it’s had a big impact on customer confidence, customer sentiment or, really, business activity at this point in a negative sense.”
Click here to watch Bryan Jordan’s full interview.
Cloud play Veeva Systems won’t be solely focused on helping the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries for long, founder and CEO Peter Gassner told Cramer in a Wednesday interview.
In reality, his company — which helps organizations in the life sciences space move their paper-reliant business processes to the cloud — can provide other key industries with technological solutions.
“When you’re manufacturing and distributing a chemical — cosmetics, consumer packaged goods, a laundry detergent — you have to be very careful about that type of stuff,” Gassner said. “[Manufacturers] have been burdened with client-server processes and paper processes, and we want to come in and modernize that, help people do better work in those industries. So that’s a big frontier for Veeva.”
Veeva plans to use its Vault QualityOne platform, a series of offerings for non-pharmacuetical companies, to scale in the manufacturing space. And growth is hardly a challenge for Veeva, a relative newcomer to the public market that IPO’d in 2013.
“If you look at the progress in those five years, we’ve almost tripled the number of products we have. Revenue’s up four times and profits are up six times,” Gassner said. “That’s what makes a great company: people who can reinvent themselves, a team that can create new products, keep customers happy and use success to grow the business.”
Click here to watch Peter Gassner’s full interview.
In Cramer’s lightning round, he sped through his take on callers’ favorite stocks:
Del Taco Restaurants Inc.: “It didn’t deliver. It did not deliver. I was quite surprised because it’s very, very good. I should have just said, ‘Listen, we’ve got to stick with Chipotle,’ which you know I like very much. And Yum’s Taco Bell’s doing better. I am really surprised at the poor execution of Del Taco. Maybe if they come on, we could hear otherwise.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet.
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