This market just keeps surprising us with companies that are doing better than we expected, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. That's why the bulls keep beating the bears and why this market just won't stay down.
Take, for example, Hewlett Packard (HPQ) - Get Report , which saw its shares drift from $21 over the summer down to lows of just $16. Cramer said there was no reason to buy shares of HP, especially amid missed estimates and massive layoffs. That was until the company received a takeover bid from Xerox (XRX) - Get Report . Cramer made it clear that even though Xerox can't even afford to buy HP, the offer made this losing stock a sudden winner.
Likewise with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report , which popped 5% Monday on news the company may have found help in taking itself private. Cramer said he's not a fan of this deal, either, with Walgreen's bloated balance sheet and tough competition, but the market doesn't seem to care.
Apple (AAPL) - Get Report was also supposed to be a loser this year, with users waiting until next year to upgrade their phones to 5G wireless. But then came the iPhone 11 and everyone seemingly has to have one.
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Executive Decision: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) - Get Report , aboard the company's newest ship, the Norwegian Encore, which just docked in New York City for the first time.
Del Rio said the cruise industry remains a leading economic indicator, with guests booking cruises months in advance. When asked how the future is shaping up, he said business is strong and guests are spending more all the time on their ships. The Encore is already at 60% to 70% of capacity six months from now, he noted.
Norwegian continues to expand their market, Del Rio said, as only 2% of all vacationers have ever been on a cruise. Guests love exotic destinations and Norwegian does a great job marketing those destinations and generating a lot of repeat customers, he said.
Even when the U.S. changed their policy on Cuba, forcing Norwegian's ships to vacate Havana in just 12 hours, Norwegian was able to adapt, Del Rio said, and recover that 4% of their capacity that was lost from Cuba.
Finally, Del Rio touted their partnership with JUST Goods, to replace up to six million plastic bottles aboard their ships as part of their environmental efforts.
Executive Decision: Charles River Labs
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Jim Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Labs (CRL) - Get Report , a stock that's up 16% for the year, but off its previous highs.
Foster explained that the business in not linear, but he remains thrilled with the long-term growth rate and growth forecasts. Charles River delivered 8% growth for the third quarter and forecasts high single-digit growth over the next two to five years.
When asked about the biotech industry, Foster said funding has never been higher and the number of drugs under development is up dramatically. Charles River worked on 85% of all drugs approved last year, he added, and they continue to add capacity to do even more. The industry is curing and treating diseases that just a few years ago were fatal or serious, he said, and that trend continues with newer and better technology.
On Real Money, Cramer keys in on the companies and CEOs he knows best. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Off the Charts: VIX
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Larry Williams over the direction of the markets. Viewers may recall that Williams predicted in August that the negativity had gotten too high and the market would rally, a prediction that has come true.
Williams first looked at the VIX volatility index, noting that the markets are likely to rally into January before the VIX begins to creep higher again. He then looked at the NYSE Advance/Decline Line, a metric Williams has been following since 1962. According to his analysis, the market continue to look healthy as the breadth of the rally is expanding.
Turning to individual stocks, Williams was bullish on Home Depot (HD) - Get Report , which has a strong seasonal pattern going into the holidays, and likewise with UPS (UPS) - Get Report , which plunged when it last reported, only to quickly rebound and surge higher.
How Executives Get Paid
Income inequality is a real problem in the U.S. and it's only getting worse, Cramer told viewers. But are regulations, like those proposed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the answer?
Cramer said he's served on the board of directors at various companies before, and he knows how these multi-million dollar pay packages are approved. Compensation committees want to reward CEOs for a job well done, and they don't want their super-star executives leaving for other opportunities.
Cramer was not in favor of upending free enterprise to rein in CEO pay, however. He said the CEO works for the shareholders and the shareholders need to demand higher wages and more equality for the rest of their workforce, bringing up the many, not lowering the few.
Cramer was bearish on CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) - Get Report , BP (BP) - Get Report , OrganiGram Holdings (OGI) - Get Report , State Street (STT) - Get Report and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, HD. JPM, BP.