The October selloff was the best thing that could've happened to the stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. That's because stocks can't always go higher, and sometimes expectations need to be reset.
The markets were initially bullish on President Trump's agenda of tax cuts and deregulation, but earlier this year, when that agenda turned toward China and trade, the markets began to falter. The negativity accelerated in October after the Federal Reserve took a hard line on interest rates, news that sent many investors fleeing stocks.
What did all of that negativity get us? Cramer said it reset those expectations -- something that needs to occur from time to time. Just look at Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , a stock that's plunged from $2,000 to $1,400 in the blink of an eye. Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report also took a dive last month, as did Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , another stock that Cramer owns for Action Alerts PLUS. Analysts piled onto all three of these stocks with downgrade after downgrade, even though there's nothing really wrong with any of them.
But now that the bar has been lowered, and there's no major news on the horizon, Cramer said the markets are in a "no-news-is-good-news" situation. If we're lucky, falling energy and housing prices will convince the Fed to take a pause, which would give the stock market a very happy holiday season.
Cramer and the AAP team are adding two names to the bullpen: Five Below (FIVE) - Get Report and Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Report . Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: DowDuPont
For an "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Ed Breen, CEO of DowDuPont (DWDP) - Get Report , the chemical giant that's set to split itself into three entities early next year. Shares of DowDuPont are off 16% for the year.
Breen said his company is currently a combination of three world-leading companies. Corveta in agriculture, Dow in material science and DuPont for specialty products. After the split, investors will be able to own each of these entities separately.
Corveta has a full line of agriculture protects from seeds to crop protection, Breen said, and will be introducing 21 new products over the next five years. Dow is the cash cow of the three, committed to spending 20% of its net income on share buybacks Then there's DuPont, a company which Breen said benchmarks against the best conglomerates like 3M (MMM) - Get Report and Honeywell (HON) - Get Report .
When asked about their ailing stock price given so much value will be unlocked in just a few short months, Breen admitted that it's been a confusing story for investors to digest and it's taking a lot of time to bring all of the pieces together and prepare them to be spun off.
Executive Decision: Take-Two Interactive
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) - Get Report , on the heels of the release of "Red Dead Redemption 2," the hotly-anticipated video game that's already sold more than 17 million copies.
Zelnick said Red Dead Redemption 2 saw the biggest opening weekend of any entertainment product ever, far better than their expectations. In fact, the sequel sold more copies in eight days than the original Red Dead Redemption did in eight years.
When asked about the game's wide-reaching appeal, Zelnick said it combines a deep, meaningful story with a Western genre that people are craving at this point in history.
Turning to the company's recent quarter, Zelnick added that recurring revenues rose 28% and the company's gross margins continue to rise as a result. He said Take-Two is no longer a hit-driven business, as "Grand Theft Auto 5" continues to be a big revenue generator, even though that title is five years old.
Take-Two also continues to profit from the eSports trend, where titles like NBA2K and others continue to lead the market.
Executive Decision: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
In a third "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also checked in with Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) - Get Report , which just posted a six-cents-a-share earnings beat with a 12.5% rise in revenues thanks, in part, to falling fuel prices.
Norwegian continues to outperform the industry and the future looks even brighter, Del Rio said. The cruise industry does well in both good times and in bad times, he said, and bookings for 2019 and 2020 are already ahead of plan.
Eventually, the fundamentals will overcome the negativity surrounding the cruise industry, Del Rio added. Their ships always leave port at full capacity, he said. The only question is, at what price? Over the past four years Norwegian has grown from one brand to three, it's added five new ships and has a much stronger balance sheet with eight ships on order.
No-Huddle Offense: ETFs
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer answered the question as to why many of the stocks in your portfolio jump around in price, seemingly for no reason at all. Cramer said that the ETF market has become the tail that wags the dog, completely divorcing a stock from the fundamentals at the underlying company.
Case in point: Visa (V) - Get Report and Mastercard (MA) - Get Report , two terrific payment processors that are benefiting from the global move from paper to plastic. But while these companies have market caps of $320 billion and $215 billion respectively, they're also part of the MSCI USA Momentum Index, an ETF designed to allow day traders to invest in the daily momentum of the markets.
In a perfect world, both Visa and Mastercard would have enough liquidity that this momentum ETF wouldn't have an impact on their share prices. In reality, when you combine this ETF, with the hundreds of others that include Visa and Mastercard, and these stocks quickly become playthings. Day traders love them, Cramer said, but normal investors pay a terrible price.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks more about what happens when a stock's movements on a given day are driven by the action of the ETFs -- and not vice versa. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Arista Networks (ANET) - Get Report , Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report , Foot Locker (FL) - Get Report , SailPoint Technologies (SAIL) - Get Report , Crown Holdings (CCK) - Get Report , Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) - Get Report , Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) - Get Report and Emerson Electric (EMR) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in DWDP, AMZN, GOOGL, APPL, HON, EMR.