Click here for an archive of Cramer's "Mad Money" recaps.
"The market is a big game of poker," Jim Cramer said on his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday. Just like the way players bluff in poker, the way a stock acts doesn't necessarily accurately represent the company behind the stock , he said.
If Wall Street is a game of poker, then the managements behind different companies are the players, Cramer explained. They know the hand their companies have been dealt.
Standing on the sidelines are the analysts, who are always trying to figure out the cards the companies have, he said. They are always trying to read managements' faces.
Then there's the
, Cramer said. The Fed doesn't have any cards itself, but it gets to see everyone else's cards and make judgments. The Fed is the casino, and chair Ben Bernanke can change the rules of the game at will and at any time, Cramer said.
"I like to remember all the past hands and how the players played them," he said. "I like to know who has a good poker face and who doesn't" -- and who is and isn't bluffing. A CEO who has never bluffed is
John Chambers, Cramer said.
Recently, Chambers gave an interview to the
and said this was the greatest time ever for the networking companies. Plus, the CEO announced a big buyback when there were five days left for the end of the quarter.
"That was a neon sign saying he had great cards," Cramer said. "People thought he was bluffing, but he ended up having a full house. It's not done going up."
, which pretty much all the time said things were good. This time the apparel company came out with a poker face and turned out to have a straight flush, he said.
are companies that have consistently had hands with three-of-a-kind cards, Cramer added. Although this may not be the best, it's still pretty good in this environment.
The financials, on the other hand, have had "crummy" hands. "They sit there every day and keep folding," he said. "They're not even trying to bluff any more." On Tuesday, the Fed issued the financials "wild cards," but they are still not the best bet at this point, Cramer said.
Right now Cisco has the "hottest" hand, and
Level 3 Communications
is good, too, he said. Plus, people can't bet against secular growth names such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi.
VF Corp.'s Happy North Face
In March, Cramer did a
series on a group of retail executives and companies that he believed deserved the benefit of the doubt. However, from atop his desk, Cramer said that he mostly stands corrected.
Though he was wrong about his benefit-of-the doubt list when it came to
, for example,
, another name on that list, is up.
"What's it doing right that everyone's doing wrong?" Cramer asked. It's focusing on investing in its brands, he said. Plus, it is expanding and building its brands overseas. Right now, nearly a third of its sales are from abroad.
Not only is VFC's North Face apparel flying off the shelf, but the company has a great balance sheet and has made some smart acquisitions, Cramer said.
Cramer, mulling VFC's next move, invited Chairman and CEO Mackey McDonald to the show.
The retail environment does continue to be "very choppy" because there's less consumer disposable income, McDonald said. But at the same time, people are shopping. They're just being more selective and choosing high-quality new products, he said.
Right now, "having a portfolio of strong brands is extremely important," McDonald continued. VF Corp. is striving and succeeding at reaching global consumers, and its brands are known everywhere, he said.
Also important is the fact that VF Corp. brands are diversified, McDonald pointed out. They offer apparel for many different types of outdoor activities and sports.
"We're always looking for additional brands," the CEO said. "We establish a target list of areas we're not strong in that we want to be strong in. We find the best brands to fit those needs and try to make the best acquisitions we can."
Cramer said he believes that VFC "should go up with or without a strong American consumer."
To view Cramer's interview with Mackey McDonald, please click here.
Emphatic Am I Diversified?
During the "Am I Diversified?" game, Cramer's first caller asked if he was diversified with these five stocks in his portfolio:
Cramer called out a financial pair in Franklin Resources and American Express. He suggested the caller swap out of AXP and pick up a health care play.
The next player named these five plays:
Cramer said that the caller had three retailers, adding that he likes Walgreen and advising the caller to sell Wal-Mart and buy some
During his "Mad Mail" segment, when a viewer asked whether the Fed's loosening would hurt the dollar and in turn hurt the value of investor holdings relative to the rest of the world, Cramer said he frankly doesn't care.
Instead, he's worried about the millions of Americans who could lose their homes vs. the dollar and tariffs.
During the "Sudden Death" round, Cramer was bullish on
. He was bearish on
Advanced Medical Optics
Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here
Pop Quiz! Are you a loyal "Mad Money" viewer? Take TheStreet.com's latest "Mad Money" culture quiz to see how much of the show you've caught this week or just to immerse yourself in Cramer's nonfinancial madness.
Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his popular book by
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."
None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.
Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.