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NEW YORK (
) -- On a day where the bears seem to have the edge, Jim Cramer once again pondered how the facts just don't seem to match the headlines.
He told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday that although the markets are worried about Greece, Germany and Spain, along with the jobless claims and the strong dollar, it hasn't had much much of an effect on retailers.
In the case of retailer
, the answer is "not very much." Kohl's reported a sharp spike in first-quarter sales today. Likewise, auto parts maker
also delivered a stellar upside surprise on strong sales.
Cramer said it appears the American consumer is not as hobbled as the headlines make us believe. He said the bears are even attacking falling oil prices as a negative. But he maintained lower gas prices are good for the consumer.
According to Cramer, the market weakness is nothing more than a profit-taking moment, which is being accelerated by the wrangling in Washington over everything from healthcare to recovery efforts.
Eventually, he said, the facts will prevail.
Natural Gas Crusade
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Andrew Littlefair, president and CEO of
Clean Energy Fuels
, a company that stands to profit big if natural gas is adopted as a bridge fuel in Washington.
Littlefair said he and T. Boone Pickens were in Washington just yesterday, again talking with members of Congress about the importance of natural gas. He said that there are now a lot of people working on different bills that include natural gas and he's confident they will be passed soon.
Littlefair also outlined the benefits of natural gas in transportation in particular, saying that natural gas is 50% cleaner than traditional diesel and emits 26% less carbon into the air.
With over 8 million eighteen-wheelers in the U.S., Littlefair said converting them to natural gas would be a huge win for the environment and energy independence. With a federal subsidy, truckers would recoup their expenses in just six to eight months and pay $1 a gallon equivalent less for fuel thereafter.
However, even without congressional blessing, Littlefair said business at Clean Energy Fuels is booming, and the company has doubled the size of its backlog. Littlefair said it will soon be possible to drive a natural gas powered truck from Los Angeles to Phoenix, and onto Las Vegas and into Utah, all thanks to the company's natural gas filling stations.
Cramer said Clean Energy Fuels remains speculative, but he likes the company's outlook, even without Washington endorsing the fuel.
In a second interview, Cramer spoke with Terry Lundgren, CEO of retail giant
, a stock which Cramer last recommended at $16 a share, four points lower than current levels.
Lundgren said Macy's is a completely different company than it was just four years ago, when it didn't even have a national footprint. Today, Lundgren said Macy's has national marketing and brand recognition like it never had before.
Lundgren also noted the company's "my Macy's" program, which includes 69 teams of local store management helping to make each Macy's store more relevant to local shoppers. Lundgren said the program has been a huge success, and now instead of pushing one merchandising plan to all their stores, the local teams are pulling in only merchandise that makes sense for their stores.
When asked about the health of the consumer, Lundgren said he's still worried about the consumer, as well as unemployment and consumer credit issues. However he noted that traffic at their stores is still OK, and delinquencies with Macy's own charge card are under control.
Cramer continued to champion Macy's as retail done right.
In his closing comments, Cramer said he'll be watching
, which has been trending lower as it purchases some of its bottlers.
He said he's also watching as well as
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, two stocks which Cramer said were great buying opportunities.
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long JPMorgan Chase.
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