Don't let the pessimists scare you away from the stock market, Jim Cramer urged his Mad Money viewers Thursday. There are vast sums of money to be made, Cramer said, and it's time to get off the sidelines and be a participant.
The S&P 500 has made remarkable gains, up 24% this year, yet most Americans are still not investing. Cramer said he can't blame them from shying away from stocks. The dot-com crash of 2001 ended what had been called the "greatest story never told." Those investors that reentered the markets were, of course, more cautious, but still suffered the financial crisis of 2009. Follow that with multiple flash crashes and machines gone wild and it's easy to see why many individual investors feel the system is rigged against them.
The media isn't helping our crisis of confidence in stocks, Cramer continued. The media only talks about Wall Street when things are bad, producing a continual stream of negativity that now defines a generation. Without any champions, why would anyone invest in stocks?
But the fact remains that stocks still represent the best asset class for investors and Cramer said he's hopeful that disruptors like Robinhood can break through the negativity and remind individuals that there's no better place to put your money than in great individual stocks, many of which are featured every night on Mad Money.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking at everything from earnings and tariffs to the Federal Reserve. 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: Chipotle Mexican Grill
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Brian Niccol and Jack Hartung, CEO and CFO of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Report, the restaurant chain with shares that are up 85% for the year.
Niccol said Chipotle's success stems from understanding and capitalizing on what makes a company special. In the case of Chipotle, that's great food and great people. The company has over 80,000 employees.
Hartung added that Chipotle invests in its people and has programs to pay for things like education and mental health to ensure that every employee feels valued and appreciated.
When asked how they were able to excel in online ordering and delivery, the pair explained that by replicating their food prep line, adding online ordering, delivery and drive-through didn't interfere with the in-store experience.
Chipotle continues to advance their "food with integrity" ethos by increasing their support for young farmers. Niccol said farming is not an easy business and Chipotle is happy to offer support.
Executive Decision: ServiceNow
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Bill McDermott, president and CEO of ServiceNow (NOW) - Get Report, the cloud computing giant that saw its share dip after reporting earnings, as the cloud sector fell out of favor with investors.
McDermott said simply that the digital transformation of enterprise is the biggest growth opportunity of our time. He said ServiceNow makes work better, and it's time for people to be happy when they go to work.
ServiceNow's cloud platform allows companies with dozens of disparate systems to redesign their workflows from the ground up and offer new end-to-end solutions that work together. Gone are the information silos of the past, McDermott said, now organizations can work together across teams. Best of all, ServiceNow can deliver solutions in just weeks, compared to the months and years it would take to upgrade those dozens of legacy systems individually.
A Reading on Retail
As retail earnings season comes to a close, Cramer said, the trade war has clearly separated the haves from the have-nots. In fact, Cramer said, all of retail can now be placed into four categories.
Coming in on top are the retailers with pricing power, those who can raise prices to offset tariffs. These include Five Below (FIVE) - Get Report and RH (RH) - Get Report, both of which delivered spectacular results this past quarter.
Among the have-nots are those in the third category, retailers that are at the mercy of tariffs. These included Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Report and the once high-flying Home Depot (HD) - Get Report, which told investors that only half of their inventory had mitigated the effects of tariffs.
Finally, there are the troubled companies, those with a host of problems beyond tariffs. This group included Macy's (M) - Get Report and Kohls Stores (KSS) - Get Report, both of which reported numbers so bad the analysts didn't even notice the effects of tariffs.
Executive Decision: Edwards Lifesciences
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Mike Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences (EW) - Get Report, the medical device maker that Cramer said "must be bought." Edwards shares are up 274% over the past five years and 54% over the past year.
Mussallem explained that everyone who works at Edwards Lifesciences is on a mission to help patients. He said that's their life's work and that's what inspires them to do great things. He said many patients visit their offices, and their researchers get to interact directly with the patients whose lives they save and it's incredibly inspiring.
In years past, replacing a heart valve meant opening a patient's chest and stopping their heart. But using Edwards' technology, valves can be replaced through catheters in about an hour, reducing recovery time to just one or two days. Mussallem said when you can save a patient's life, improve their quality of life and save costs, that's the holy grail of medicine.
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.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) - Get Report, Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report, Marvell Technology (MRVL) - Get Report, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - Get Report, Valley National Bancorp (VLY) - Get Report and Wendy's (WEN) - Get Report.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in HD, KSS, NVDA, MRVL.