Thursday's updated guidance from the CDC was great news for the stock market, but Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers there's a lot more going on under the hood. In fact, the day's rally had less to do with COVID-19 and more to do with keeping inflation at bay.
Simply put, we need to keep our economy growing without overheating. The news from the CDC ensures the former, but the latter comes from the four most inflationary areas of the market, namely oil, lumber, bitcoin and the high-flying growth stocks, which Cramer dubbed the "Wood stocks" after Cathie Wood of ARK Invest.
Oil prices plunged Thursday after it was reported that Colonial Pipeline paid hackers nearly $5 million via cryptocurrency after a ransomware attack Friday. This news sent short sellers betting on supply disruptions scrambling.
Add to these the growing declines in lumber and the tech stocks, which have been selling off for days, and suddenly, Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell looks like the smartest guy in the room for keeping interest rates low.
Cramer said as long as inflation stays under control, we'll see more days like today where the entire market can celebrate a return to normal life in a post-COVID world.
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Off the Charts: Inflation
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carley Garner over the direction of inflation. According to Garner, commodities are already starting to show signs of peaking, which would be excellent news for stocks.
Garner first looked at the price of lumber, one of the out of control commodities. She noted that lumber is thinly traded, making it a poor gauge of actual inflation. That said, lumber has traded limit-down for three days in a row.
It turns out that many other commodities trade in lock-step with lumber, thanks to the ubiquity of ETFs. Garner expects to see copper, sugar, and corn soon follow in lumber's footsteps.
Looking at a monthly chart of copper, Garner noted that the rally has stalled, which is the first sign towards normalization.
Cramer said that Garner makes a compelling case. Often, there's a circular logic to commodities. People buy them due to fears of inflation, and when too many people buy it causes inflation. But eventually, that logic fails and prices tumble. That tumble may occur sooner than you think.
Executive Decision: Coinbase
For one of his "Executive Decision" segments, Cramer checked in Alesia Haas, CFO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global (COIN) , which dipped 6.5% Thursday.
Haas said that cryptocurrencies are attracting investors of all ages, demographics and geographies. They are quickly becoming an appealing asset class for all investors. While bitcoin is the oldest and most well-known, Haas noted that there's a long tail of other currencies and Coinbase aims to become a platform to trade all assets that meet their listing standards.
When asked about those standards, Haas said that Coinbase has always worked closely with regulators and encourages increased regulation to ensure there is trust in the system and a level playing field for everyone.
Is cryptocurrency here to stay? Haas said she sees it becoming mainstream, but also sees it evolving. That's why they continue to promote educational resources on their website to help everyone learn more.
Executive Decision: DoorDash
In another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Tony Xu, co-founder and CEO of DoorDash (DASH) - Get Report, the delivery service operator with shares off 19% for the year, despite a 2.2% rise Thursday on strong earnings.
Xu said that all of the actions they took during the pandemic gave their restaurant partners eight times better odds of surviving the pandemic. Now that there's light at the end of the tunnel, DoorDash is shifting gears, helping restaurants navigate the recovery with new pricing plans that offer more choices to help them succeed.
When asked about their business amid the recovery, Xu noted that engagement is up across all areas. That's because they provide restaurants with the more efficient routes and delivery options, removing costs and increasing operational efficiency. Delivery services are still in the early innings, he said.
And while DoorDash was long seen as the underdog and didn't always have a lot of capital to spend, the company was still able to grow its market share and make a big difference for their partners.
Executive Decision: Sonos
Spence said that we're entering a golden age of music thanks to streaming, podcasts, in-home video and lots of new technology. The work-from-home movement has also made listening to music at home more important than ever.
Spence said Sonos is now taking its listening experience outside of the home with the Roam, their first portable speaker, which has already sold out. The company has also partnered with Audi to create the Sonos experience on the road. Automotive is a massive opportunity, he said.
So far, the semiconductor shortage has not impacted Sonos and Spence said the company's gross margins are improving.
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Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Thursday evening:
Aeva Technologies AEVA: "Lidar and charging stations both have too many players. I can't recommend them."
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in the stocks mentioned.