If you think our economy is easy to figure out, dream on, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. We're clearly in a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full situation and it's impossible to tell which side will win out.
On the plus side, Cramer said our economy is enjoying the best employment numbers since 1998 and the housing market continues to be red hot. The experiential economy, including travel and leisure is also strong, as evidenced by Jet Blue (JBLU) rising 2.3% today.
But then there are the negatives, and there are a lot of them. Cramer said the bond market is signaling that there's not a lot of demand for money and therefore no reason to raise interest rates. Auto sales continue to be weak, and witness AutoZone's (AZO) 11.8% decline today. Retail is still struggling and there's now little hope of tax reforms any time soon.
Beyond that, Cramer said that all of the wrong stocks are leading the market higher, including the consumer packaged goods and utilities, which are often seen as the safety stocks to buy in bad times, not good ones.
So who's right? Cramer said the forces of weakness outweigh the forces to strength, but it's hard to see the market breaking up or down until a clearer direction can be resolved.
Meanwhile, over on Real Money, Cramer says he believes that ultimately, the economy will prove resilient. Get his insights a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Off the Charts
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Bob Lang over the charts of the video game stocks to see if this group's recent move is a long-term trend or a short-term flash in the pan.
Lang first looked at Electronic Arts (EA) , the laggard of the group that's only up 30% over the past six months. After gapping up two weeks ago, he noted the stock has been consolidating its gains. But with that move made on strong volume and with a strong relative strength indicator (RSI), Lang felt the stock could see $120 a share before taking its next breather.
Lang was also bullish on Activision Blizzard (ATVI) , which gapped higher when it reported in February and has seen persistent buying ever since. With a strong Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) Lang felt this stock could also be bought on any dip lower.
Finally, Lang was bullish on Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) , a stock that's seeing a bullish flag pattern while also having a strong CMF.
FANG's China Counterparts
It's no secret that in 2017, FANG, Cramer's acronym for Facebook (FB) , Amazon.com (AMZN) , Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOGL) , has been red hot, up between 21% and 29% so far this year. But there is one group that's been even hotter than FANG: their Chinese counterparts.
Alibaba is the Ebay (EBAY) of China, connecting buyers and sellers of goods and services. Baidu is the unchallenged Google of China, while JD.com sells products directly to consumers, like Amazon. Then there's Weibo, which is equivalent to our Twitter (TWTR) .
Cramer said the growth and opportunities at all of these companies is astounding, and as they mature, their stocks are beginning to act more and more like their U.S. counterparts, ignoring short-term weakness for long-term gains.
All Chinese stocks are by nature more risky and less transparent than U.S. companies, Cramer said, but more importantly, all of these stocks have run too far, too fast and it's dangerous to chase them at current levels. That said, Cramer was willing to recommend Alibaba, which trades at 22 times earnings despite 60% posted revenue growth.
Executive Decision: Schneider
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Chris Lofgren, president and CEO of Schneider National (SNDR) , the 82-year-old trucking company that just came public last month.
Lofgren said that his industry's biggest challenge right now are new hours of service regulations set to take effect in December. He said change is very disruptive for the trucking business, which is why he's been urging Washington to "land somewhere and stick with it" so his industry can adapt and move forward.
In an industry where barriers to entry are few and there aren't that many advantages of scale, Lofgren said that technology has become increasingly important. He said Schneider uses data to its advantage and predictive analytics has made his company a lot more efficient at what it does.
What's the impact of ecommerce on trucking? Lofgren said that it's fundamentally changing how products flow around our country and it's also creating opportunities for hard-to-handle items like furniture, appliances and flooring.
Cramer said that Schneider is a terrific story.
Cramer was bearish on Community Health Systems (CYH) .
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer pondered whether driverless cars and trucks are a world away or right around the corner. He said that after a Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst report valued Alphabet's Waymo division at $70 billion, the future could be a lot closer than you think.
Cramer said that Waymo's partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft will be huge in the amping up the company's number of self-driving hours and mileage, the key metric in gathering data and improving the platform. Given the total addressable market of driverless cars, Cramer said it's unlikely that Alphabet would ever spin off Waymo.
The only other way to play autonomous driving is with Intel (INTC) , which recently acquired MobileEye. In the meantime however, Cramer said that Alphabet's stock continues to rise.
On a call with his AAP investment club members, Cramer said a Trump impeachment wouldn't kill stocks. Get in on the conversation, hear his insights and get a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
You're Invited: Meet the Millennial Media Moguls
Planning to be in New York on Tuesday, June 13? You're invited to join us for an evening of cocktails and conversation with three dynamic young CEOs whose companies have found big news audiences and good markets. How have they done it? What have they learned? Meet Chris Altchek, CEO and co-founder of Mic; Shafqat Islam, co-founder and CEO of NewsCred; and Kathryn Minshew, the CEO and co-founder of TheMuse.
Our panel discussion will be led by Ken Doctor, media analyst and columnist for TheStreet. The event, from 6 to 8 p.m. is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Please click here to RSVP and get more information.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in stocks mentioned.