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NEW YORK (
) -- There was a time when our stock market was held hostage by other markets around the globe, but that time is over, Jim Cramer announced to his
TV show viewers Thursday as he opined on a lackluster trading day on Wall Street.
Cramer explained the U.S. now has the strongest markets on Earth, which means that negative news like that out of Japan today, can simply be shrugged off as noise. The U.S. is far from having the strongest economy thanks to a lack of hiring, but no one can question the strength of the stocks that are linked to terrific companies that are outperforming expectations daily. When a stock like
can deliver a quarter that no one saw coming, it's hard to ignore the momentum.
But that does not mean that investors need not be careful, Cramer continued, as our markets are still being controlled by an even larger force: the machines. Case in point:
American Electric Power
, a stock which momentarily fell by nearly 50% at the open this morning, only to fully recover minutes later. Once again, the machines went awry and investors are left holding the bag.
That's why Cramer once again urged all investors to never place market orders and always use limit orders which can only be executed at a specified price. He said those selling at the open using market orders lost 50% of their investments in the blink of an eye, and it doesn't appear that the regulators are willing to break those trades. Those using limit order,s however, were protected from the momentary carnage.
So while our markets may no longer be hostage to the rest of the world, they are still hostage to the machines, which means investors must continue to be vigilant with their money.
Executive Decision: Jack Koraleski
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jack Koraleski, president and CEO of
, a stock that's up 120% since Cramer first got behind the railroad in June 2010, thanks to continued strength in oil and autos.
Koraleski said that just five years ago, the prospect of transporting oil was not even on his radar, but almost overnight Union Pacific now ships over 90 million barrels of crude oil a year. He said unlike a pipeline, which only runs to the other end, rail can transport oil anywhere it needs to go, and is not only flexible but also price-competitive when compared to pipe.
But that does not mean that Koraleski was against pipelines such as the proposed Keystone XL. He explained that someone will need to transport that pipe, along with gravel, supplies and workers, so pipelines are also terrific for Union Pacific.
Koraleski also discussed the strength in Mexican auto production, a big driver for Union Pacific because it is the only major rail to serve all six Mexican gateways with the U.S. He said as auto production grows, Union Pacific ships auto parts down to Mexico and then transports completed autos back into the U.S., making it a very lucrative business.
Among some of the other bright spots: intermodal transports, where truck trailers are put directly onto rail cars then are taken off and driven away at their destinations. Koraleski said this business is not only cost-effective for trucking companies, it's also more eco-friendly. Perhaps the only down market at Union Pacific is agriculture, where droughts cut into corn and soy crops last year. Koraleski said that so far this year, the weather has been cooperating.
Cramer said Union Pacific continues to deliver nice, solid growth and he continues to like the rail.
Executive Decision: Marc Benioff
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of
, a stock that's up 700% since Cramer first spoke with Benioff in November 2008.
Benioff said that after reporting its first billion-dollar year just a few years ago, Salesforce is very close to having its first billion-dollar quarter. He touted a new partnership with
as one of the highlights of the quarter, as well as the Japanese government, which is now Salesforce's largest single customer.
Benioff also noted that Salesforce saw 30% year-over-year revenue growth for the quarter and raised its full year guidance for 2013.
When asked about the future, Benioff said that Salesforce has taken the lead as the number one provider of customer resource management, or CRM, software and now aims to do the same with customer service and marketing offerings thanks to several recent acquisitions.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
Executive Decision: Frank Semple
In his third "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Frank Semple, chairman, president and CEO of
, the oil and gas master limited partnership that's returned 44%, including reinvested dividends, since Cramer last spoke with Semple 11 months ago.
Semple said that MarkWest's phenomenal growth in recent years sits squarely on its $5 billion investment in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania and the Utica shale, primarily in Ohio. He said the area has given MarkWest a large footprint and a strong position in the industry and business continues to grow, especially in the natural gas liquids markets, which include things like propane and butane.
Semple also said that America remains in the "early innings" of its oil and gas revolution because the shale fields are requiring a complete overhaul of our nation's infrastructure, from pipelines to processing and beyond. He said the entire energy infrastructure landscape is changing so that our country can use its own resources towards energy independence.
Cramer said MarkWest remains one of his favorite oil and natural gas MLPs.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer compared two stocks that rallied today, albeit for completely different reasons. He said that Hewlett-Packard and
represent the yin and yang of the tech world.
Cramer said Hewlett represents old tech, tech that is no longer growing. It was able to turn itself into a cash cow by boosting its dividend and not letting its business get any worse.
Meanwhile, the newly minted ChannelAdvisor has what Hewlett sorely lacks -- growth. While the company is nowhere close to being profitable, investors nonetheless are clamoring for that growth and hope that someday the company can turn itself into a Hewlett-style money machine.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had positions in COP and PF.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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