Well, it's official. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates a quarter point, as expected, and Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday that frankly, he's disappointed. If you're planning to buy stocks, you are now fighting the Fed, he said, and that's never a good place to be.
According to Cramer, Fed chair Jay Powell simply doesn't care about appeasing investors. Powell instead only has one mission, to tamp out inflation and slow hiring, and to do so even if it means obliterating your portfolio. Some have interpreted Powell's remarks as taking a softer, more data-dependent stance. But Cramer countered that what Powell said was actually data indifferent, not dependent. Back in October, Powell sought four more rate hikes. Now he's only seeking three, despite countless signs that the economy is slowing and a stock market that's plunging.
Powell's fierce independence from everyone else may be good for the institution of the Fed, Cramer argues, but it's not good for the economy, your portfolio or the President's re-election hopes.
Taking a "wait and see" approach would have cost the Fed nothing today, Cramer concluded, but now we need to start thinking differently.
- The Federal Reserve Scenarios and How to Play Them: Trading Strategies
- Listen for These Words from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed back Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO of Micron Technology (MU) , the semiconductor maker that saw its shares decline 7.9% today after the company reported just a penny-a-share earnings beat with weaker than expected guidance.
Mehrotra said that the end markets for all of Micron's memory and storage products remain very strong. The growth drivers in autos, graphics, the cloud, data centers and more have only been growing, which has led to an "air pocket" where Micron's customers have built up too much inventory that now must be cleared.
Mehrotra added that Micron expects supply and demand to be back in balance by mid-2019, with a strong finish going into the close of next year. In the meantime, the company will continue it's disciplined approach to its stock buyback program.
Cramer said while Micron is a lot better and more diverse than it used to be, the supply buildup is reminiscent of the company's former self, which saw volatile stock prices.
- Jim Cramer Breaks Down Micron's Earnings
- How a Company From Idaho Revolutionized Data Solutions: Making Micron
Off the Charts
Is the market poised for a rebound, even with a hostile Federal Reserve? In his "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carley Garner for the latest read on the market action and what the charts are telling her.
Garner looked at several different charts to make her assessment. She first looked at a weekly chart of U.S. Dollar Futures, noting that both the relative strength indicator and Williams oscillator are signaling an overheated dollar that's poised to cool. That would be welcome news for U.S multinational companies. Garner then looked at the seasonal patterns of the S&P 500, noting that the end of December is historically a good time to buy stocks.
This sentiment was confirmed by looking at the daily S&P 500 e-mini futures, which signaled a bounce to 2820 may be possible, and with the longer-term monthly chart.
Executive Decision: Eli Lilly
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Dave Ricks, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly (LLY) , the drugmaker that just completed a bullish investor day that included a 15% boost in the company's dividend.
Ricks said the dividend boost is a sign of their confidence in the growth of their company going forward. "It's a great time to be investing in science," he said, and Lilly will be introducing 10 big new drugs over the next five years.
In the diabetes market, Lilly continues to take market share, Ricks said, and they have new drugs in the pipeline to help patients control their glucose better and lose weight. He was also excited about the prospects of Olumiant, Lilly's rheumatoid arthritis drug, being approved by the FDA in a 4mg dosage. He said they continue to provide more data to the FDA and patients are seeing great success at that dosage.
When asked about competition in the migraine market, Ricks admitted that Lilly is a few months behind some of thier competitors, but with 30 million patients suffering from migraines, Lilly's drug, which has demonstrated the ability to cut the number of migraines in half for moderate to severe sufferers, will be changing many lives. The market may be a horse race, he said, but Lilly is playing to win.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on CyberArk Software (CYBR) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer answered the question, "How do you model a lawsuit?", by looking into five companies battling high-profile cases.
In the case of Apple (AAPL) versus Qualcomm (QCOM) , Cramer said there is more downside possible for Apple, given that Chinese courts are controlled by the Chinese government and the country's iPhone ban could take a bite out of earnings.
In the case of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and its alleged asbestos-contaminated baby powders, Cramer said he thinks the stock is a buy, but would wait a few more days to gauge the market's reaction.
Next was Goldman Sachs (GS) , which is currently battling the Malaysian government, which has accused it of fraud. Cramer said he expects the company and country to settle, but it may take awhile.
Then there's Facebook (FB) , which is now being sued by Washington, DC over the company's data practices. Cramer said he doesn't see this suit, or the myriad of others that are likely to follow, as derailing Facebook's business.
Finally, Cramer said that Allergan (AGN) is another stock that's already been hammered, leaving little that investors can still worry about as this company once again battles allegations its implants caused cancer in some patients.
Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs and Apple are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells FB, JNJ, GS or AAPL? Learn more now. Save 66% with our '12 Days of Holiday Deals' Sale. Join Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS club for investors and get our best deal of the year. Click here for details or to sign up.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking at how end-of-the-year market volatility is affecting their portfolio. 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.
Over on Real Money, Cramer is calling it like it is, and sharing his perspective on the markets. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.