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Cramer's Mad Money Recap 10/21: Costco, Walmart, Ford

Jim Cramer zeroes in on commodity inflation and how some companies are keeping it at bay.
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Jumping the gun is a bad idea in just about everything, except investing, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. If commodity inflation may soon be peaking, the big boys can't afford to wait, and neither should you.

As stocks march endlessly higher, it may be time to ask yourself, "What if things actually go right?" If you look closely, you just might find that things aren't as bad as many people thought.

According to bank CEOs, things are going great and the banks are in great shape. The railroads and transportation sectors may soon be getting a boost, thanks to the White House intervention with our ports. Then there's retail, where scale has helped the likes of Costco  (COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report and Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report keep cost inflation at bay.

As oil prices have been rising, so too has the U.S. oil industry, which is ramping production to meet demand. Meanwhile, Dow Inc.  (DOW) - Get Dow, Inc. Report told us additional chemical capacity is coming online to meet demand as well.

Even with the semiconductor shortage, semiconductor manufacturers aren't racing to buy more equipment, which tells us that maybe more supply isn't really needed once the backlog of orders is filled.

If all of these things were really as bad as many people feared, would shares of Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report be rallying? Ford uses every one of these commodities, after all.

Cramer said the only type of inflation he doesn't have an answer for is the labor shortage, where fear and a reassessment of their lives seems to be keeping millions out of the workforce. But other than labor, things sure do look like they're looking up.

Executive Decision: Whirlpool

In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Mark Bitzer, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool  (WHR) - Get Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) Report, the appliance maker that just posted mixed results that included lowered sales expectations but slightly better earnings guidance.

Bitzer explained that he's built a different Whirlpool for a direct world. Whirlpool is no longer a cyclical, boom-and-bust company, he said. In fact, Whirlpool has delivered four years in a row of record profits, despite the pandemic. They can perform in any environment.

"The shortages are real," Bitzer responded when asked about their challenges. There are labor shortages, component shortages, chip shortages and transportation issues, all of which are causing delays. But on the bright side, those delays are being caused because demand is strong and outstripping supply, despite increases in production.

Turning to the topic of inflation, Bitzer said that too "is real," but has been something Whirlpool is able to deal with. He expected the challenges to carry over into next year.

Robinhood Markets

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Vlad Tenev, co-founder and CEO of Robinhood Markets  (HOOD) - Get Robinhood Report, the commission-free trading platform that came under fire for its involvement with meme stocks like GameStop  (GME) - Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report earlier this year.

Tenev explained that there's a lot of misinformation on the Internet, but the Securities and Exchange Commission's just-released report has vindicated Robinhood and confirmed what they've been saying all long. The trading restrictions Robinhood was forced to place on GameStop stemmed from structural issues in the markets themselves. These platforms simply weren't built for large numbers of traders trying to pile into just a handful of stocks all at once.

Tenev also responded to both of the report's primary concerns, the first was the issue of gamification of investing. He said we need to get past the notion that rich people invest but poor people gamble. A trading platform can be fun and easy to use, but that doesn't mean the people that use it don't understand what they're doing.

Second, when it comes to payment for order flow, Tenev said that before Robinhood, brokers charged commissions and additional fees for routing orders. Now, Robinhood has made trading more affordable by eliminating commissions. The amounts users still pay for order routing represent the lowest costs ever paid to buy stocks.

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That said, there are certainly improvements that can be made to make trading more transparent and more fair, whether you're a big investor or a small one just starting out.

Executive Decision: Mattel

For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in Ynon Kreiz, chairman and CEO of Mattel  (MAT) - Get Mattel, Inc. Report, the toymaker that just posted a 12-cents-a-share earnings beat that included an 8% rise in revenues.

Kreiz painted a very bullish picture for Mattel, saying his company is seeing its highest growth rates in decades and it's taking market share from other vendors. Mattel is also strengthening its balance sheet, which is providing even more opportunities to create value for shareholders.

Kreiz was also optimistic about Mattel's entertainment initiatives, saying the company's vast catalog of brands has spawned 30 movies. The company has already launched eight TV series with 10 additional series in development.

Finally, when asked about the holiday season, Kreiz assured viewers that there will be plenty of toys on store shelves this holiday season.

Praise for Powell

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer offered up some praise for Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell, who's become public enemy No. 1 when it comes to our economy and inflation.

Let's not forget that when the pandemic began, Powell was among the quickest to act and was the first to reassure investors that a recession was not going to happen on his watch. Powell acted far faster than our elected leaders, Congress, or his predecessor, Ben Bernanke, did during the 2008 financial meltdown.

No one knew back then how quickly a vaccine could be created or how long the effects of the pandemic could last. In that vacuum, Powell opted to err on the side of "too much" versus "too little", a move that has been the right call so far.

Powell isn't responsible for how slowly America is getting vaccinated nor how unprepared companies were for the uptick in demand. Powell can only control interest rates, and by keeping them low, America is in a lot better shape than we expected to be at this stage of the crisis.

Lightning Round

Here's what Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Thursday evening:

FedEx  (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report: "I think you need to trim a little. I think it's going to keep disappointing."

Cassava Sciences  (SAVA) - Get Cassava Sciences, Inc. Report: "This is an incredibly speculative situation. "

Dow Chemical: "I think prices are not peaking. I think a 5% yield or better is a good entry point."

Marqeta  (MQ) - Get Marqeta Inc. Report: "We see a lot of these, but I prefer Square  (SQ) - Get Square, Inc. Class A Report."

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