Being realistic about the stock market doesn't mean being negative all the time, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday, especially when the reality is so good. If you don't want to miss incredible moves higher, don't allow your default state to always be "horrible."
Even the analysts fall victim to the downward bias, Cramer said, and frankly, can you blame them? Things have been bad for so long that it's only natural to see the worst in just about everything. Take the Action Alerts PLUS holding, Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report , which the analyst told everybody would be obliterated if users spend less time using the service. It turns out, monetization at Facebook increases when users are less fatigued by content they don't want to see. Shares ended the day up 3.3%.
Then there's Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report , another Action Alerts PLUS name. Apple ended the day up 3.1% as sales and pricing power remained strong. Cramer said he's also a buyer of Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report under $1,500 a share, even after today's 6.1% move.
And while earnings at Google's parent, Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report , were a tad disappointing, Cramer told viewers not to lose hope, or sleep, over this tech giant that is still doing well -- although not as well as some had hoped.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says be mindful of what you want, not what the market wants. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Stocks on a Mission
"Get long, or get out of the way." That's how to handle stocks that are on a mission to head higher and to get to where they need to go. Case in point: Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report , which Cramer said is heading to $400 a share, along with MasterCard (MA) - Get Mastercard Inc. (MA) Report , which is working its way to $200 a share.
Cramer was also bullish on IDEXX Labs (IDXX) - Get IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX) Report , which he said is also on a mission to $200 a share, and with Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report , which is taking a pause, but only to keep on marching towards $300.
With all of these stocks, it's "look out above," because even the scariest of negative market forces will only keep them down for a short time.
Cramer and the AAP team have their take on fourth-quarter earnings from Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) - Get Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. Report . Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
With Super Bowl Sunday just days away, Cramer was on the hunt for a stock with exposure to football, ultimately finding Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) - Get Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) Report , a stock that's up over 130% over the past 18 months and 17% so far in 2018.
Zebra is mainly known for their industrial technologies, like barcodes, RFID tags and inventory management systems. The company is big beneficiary from growth in retail, ecommerce, logistics and healthcare.
But Zebra also has a kicker, their Zebra Sports division, which has tracking chips on every NFL player and on every football. The Zebra system tracks every movement on the field at 80 times a second, and sends that data to coaches and now fans. The applications of this treasure trove of data are endless, Cramer said, from scouting new players, to performance tracking and the increased enjoyment of the fans.
Zebra forecasts 3% to 6% sales growth this year, up from just 1% two years ago. Despite expanding gross margins, the stock still sells at just 15 times earnings, making it a buy in Cramer's book. He'd be a buyer right here and would load up the truck on any market-induced weakness.
Executive Decision: Marathon Petroleum
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Gary Heminger, chairman and CEO of oil refiner Marathon Petroleum (MPC) - Get Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Report , which today posted a six-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 99-cent basis with revenues that rose 23% year-over-year.
Heminger explained that one of Marathon's keys to success is the flexibility of its network. He said they can refine up to 70% sweet crude, heavy crude or just about anything in between. They refine up to two million barrels a day, and thanks to their vertical integration, he knows where 65% of that product will be sold tomorrow.
Marathon is also in the oil export business, sending an average of 314,000 barrels a day overseas. That accounts for 17% of Marathon's overall capacity.
When asked whether the Trump administration is helping the oil industry, Heminger confirmed that Trump is very pro-energy and is indeed trying to help with permitting for drilling, pipelines, terminals and other much needed oil infrastructure.
Executive Decision: ServiceNow
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked back in with John Donahoe, president and CEO of ServiceNow (NOW) - Get ServiceNow, Inc. Report , which yesterday posted inline earnings on strong revenues.
Donahoe, former CEO of Ebay (EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report , said that ServiceNow has the right platform at the right time. He said many companies are making the digital transformation to simplify and streamline operations for their customers and their employees, and ServiceNow is the platform to make that happen. The company's platform excels across departments from IT to HR to support and more.
Additionally, ServiceNow can provide managers with digital dashboards that measure the impact of the services they provide.
When asked about competition from other cloud providers, Donahoe said that ServiceNow partners with many providers, like Workday (WDAY) - Get Workday, Inc. (WDAY) Report in the HR space, to provide seamless experiences across departments.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Align Technology (ALGN) - Get Align Technology, Inc. Report , Kennametal (KMT) - Get Kennametal Inc. Report , Parker Hannifin (PH) - Get Parker-Hannifin Corporation Report , S&P Global (SPGI) - Get S&P Global, Inc. Report , Myriad Genetics (MYGN) - Get Myriad Genetics, Inc. Report , Arista Networks (ANET) - Get Arista Networks, Inc. Report , Emerson Electric (EMR) - Get Emerson Electric Co. Report , Ball Corp (BLL) - Get Ball Corporation Report and ProLogis (PLD) - Get Prologis, Inc. Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in MMP, FB, AAPL, GOOGL, NVDA.