Give credit where credit is due, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. This stock market rally is about a whole lot more than just politics.
Sure, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to spur job growth and investment in America, but, Cramer said, there are lots of other reasons why the stock market keeps hitting new highs.
First, Cramer said that job growth already was robust when Trump took office, and with Trump's agenda, hiring and raising capital will only get easier.
Second, as gridlock ends in Washington, we'll see some movement toward enacting pro-business legislation.
Cramer's third reason for the rally is infrastructure spending. While nothing has been announced yet, there's optimism that new initiatives will be coming soon.
And fourth, Cramer said, the rest of the world -- including Europe, India, China and Russia -- are all starting to see growth.
So while we may not have clarity on Trump's tax reforms or many of his other initiatives, it's clear that the market's rally is being spurred on by growth in many places -- in addition to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Meanwhile, over on Real Money, Cramer says a pro-business president is just one factor in this rally. Investors should know what the rest are. Check out Cramer's strategies with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Waste Management
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with James Fish, the new president and CEO of Waste Management (WM) - Get Report , which just delivered a 2-cents-a-share earnings miss last week but saw its shares rise on the company's bullish commentary. Shares of Waste Management are up 11% since November.
Fish said that while he remains agnostic on whether deregulation will have any meaningful impact on Waste Management's business, he is bullish on the prospects of Trump's infrastructure plans boosting his company's volumes. He said every 1% rise in GDP tends to produce half a point of volume increase, but infrastructure tends to skew higher.
Fish was also bullish on recycling volumes, saying that while not as strong as last year, recycling should still be a tailwind for 2017.
When asked about technology, Fish said that Waste Management is using technology in every truck to help drive efficiencies and they're already working on what comes next after landfills reach the end of their lifespans.
Where Did They Take a Wrong Turn?
What the heck is wrong with the car-rental industry? In just the past two years, shares of Hertz (HTZ) - Get Report have crumbled from highs of $125 a share in 2014 to just over $20, while shares of rival Avis Budget (CAR) - Get Report have fallen 69% from their 2014 highs. Cramer said the declines have been simply staggering.
After benefiting from a rebounding economy and a wave of consolidation, accounting issues and poor management spurred the decline in Hertz in 2014, Cramer explained. When the company reported in November, it once again missed estimates, this time by a whopping $1.17 a share, pulverizing the stock.
Things aren't quite as bad, but still awful, at Avis, which is also suffering from rising costs and weakening demand. After a strong quarter in November, Avis posted a top and bottom line miss last week with continued weak guidance for 2017.
Cramer said the car-rental business is now a commodity and that's a bad place to be in a world where Uber and Lyft are on just about everyone's smart phones. Even an uptick in global travel may not be enough to save these ailing stocks. While he stopped short of writing an obituary for the industry, he said the stocks must be avoided at all costs.
The Story of Fitbit
Cramer said even he fell for the hype when Fitbit first debuted in June 2015. The company was supposed to be more than just a commodity maker of hardware, it was supposed to be an ecosystem that no one could match.
But Cramer said management lost all credibility after refusing to acknowledge the company's issues and shares sank 75% in 2016 and another 17% so far in 2017. Yesterday, Fitbit announced another 19.4% decline in revenues and Cramer said this former growth stock is now in purgatory.
Meanwhile Garmin, which had been known as just a maker of GPS devices for your car, has emerged as a real winner, diversifying into outdoor, marine and aviation systems. When Garmin last reported, it beat estimates by 16 cents a share with a 10% rise in revenues.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Verizon (VZ) - Get Report , T-Mobile US (TMUS) - Get Report , Nexstar Media Group (NXST) - Get Report , Box (BOX) - Get Report and Treehouse Foods (THS) - Get Report .
Cramer was bearish on Argan (AGX) - Get Report , Gray Television (GTN) - Get Report , Kellogg (K) - Get Report , Best Buy (BBY) - Get Report , Exact Sciences (EXAS) - Get Report , Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST) - Get Report and Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR) - Get Report .
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer offered a tip of the hat to Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk for not shying away from analysts' questions on the company's conference call. Even with nearly $1 billion in losses and $16 billion in debt, Musk still has grand plans and shareholders need to buckle up for the ride.
Cramer and the AAP team say Apache's (APA) - Get Report mixed results are a buying opportunity. Find out what they're telling their investment club members with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in APA.