The Federal Reserve should be careful what it wishes for, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. It's the Fed's job to cool a hot economy and keep inflation at bay, he said, but would a little inflation really be that bad?
Inflation comes in many forms, Cramer said. For example, PepsiCo (PEP) noted Tuesday that the price of aluminum is rising, but that's due to President Trump adding tariffs to aluminum. Oil prices are also rising, but oil is a worldwide commodity, so there's nothing the Fed can do there.
Housing remains brisk, but cracks are beginning to appear as mortgage rates rise. The same with autos, where car prices are up, also due largely to tariffs, but those higher prices don't appear to be sticking.
So where's the real inflation? What the Fed really cares about is wage inflation, Cramer said.
On Tuesday, Amazon (AMZN) raised the minimum wage it pays its employees to $15 an hour, for example, but Amazon overall is one of the most deflationary companies of all time.
The truth is that as we near full employment in the U.S., there simply aren't enough people to work, which sends wages higher. This labor shortage stems from reduced immigration, lower birth rates and new regulations in industries like trucking, which limit the hours drivers can work.
As you look at the inflationary landscape, Cramer concluded that there aren't many areas to worry about, and even if there were, a little inflation never hurt anyone.
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A Great Used Car Deal
When it comes to autos, new cars are out, but used cars are in. That's why shares of used car king, CarMax (KMX) , are up 14.6% for the year, while AutoNation (AN) , which sells primarily new vehicles, is off 21.9%. So where does that leave Carvana (CVNA) , the company that's disrupting the used car business by moving it online? Cramer dug in to find out.
While older buyers may find it ludicrous to purchase a used car online, younger buyers feel right at home. The company's website gives them all the information they need, takes care of all the paperwork and even delivers the car right to your door. Having some buyer's remorse? No problem. Just return it within seven days.
By cutting out the middleman and selling direct to consumers, Carvana was able to post 127% sales growing last quarter. The company added nine new markets this year, for a total of 65, making it both a disruption story as well as a regional to national growth story.
Given the stock's huge run and wild trading, Cramer said he'd consider Carvana as a speculative stock in your portfolio. He'd buy in increments on weakness, gradually as the stock drifts lower as other investors take their profits.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks about the mischief the bears are creating. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Buying When the Chips Are Down
The commodity semiconductor makers have been in a house of pain, Cramer told viewers, but that doesn't mean they should all be avoided. Semiconductors are an important industry, as chips are going into just about everything these days.
So what should investors make of Western Digital (WDC) , with shares down 45% from their March highs, and Micron Technologies (MU) , off 30% from their May highs? Cramer said while these companies are similar, they're also not completely the same.
Western Digital makes both hard drives and NAND flash chips, thanks to its acquisition of Sandisk. Micron makes NAND flash and DRAM chips. Of the two, Cramer said Micron is the superior company and has one unique thing going in its favor. A monster stock buyback program.
When shares of Western Digital head lower, they just head lower. But when Micron's share dip, the company is in there aggressively buying right along side of you. So while Micron's clients are "adjusting inventory levels," which is code for "buying few chips," that's the perfect time to be building a position for the next rebound higher.
Executive Decision: CyrusOne
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed Gary Wojtaszek, president and CEO of CyrusOne (CONE) , the data center REIT with a 2.9% yield.
Wojtaszek explained that 60% of CyrusOne's investors are real estate investors, which means any time interest rates rise, bonds become an attractive alternative to owning a REIT. That said, Wojtaszek noted that the secular trends in their industry far outweigh any downside from interest rates.
Speaking of those secular trends, Wojtaszek said there's always a disconnect in people's minds between explosive growth at companies like Amazon (AMZN) and Salesforce.com (CRM) and the "digital factories" that power them. For these companies to do well, companies like CyrusOne have to do well.
That's how CyrusOne was able to match all of its 2017 bookings in just the first half of 2018. The company just posted their biggest quarter ever with a record number of leases, averaging a term of 12 years. Fortune 1000 companies require a global platform, Wojtaszek added, and that's what CyrusOne can deliver.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said it's so much easier to be a bear than a bull. The bears can cause as much mischief as they'd like, then just move on to the next wall of worry. They're never held accountable for anything.
Remember when we were supposed to worry about a collapse in Turkey? Inflation was running rampant in the politically unstable country and somehow, it was going to affect your U.S. stocks. Except that it didn't. That doesn't matter to the bears though, because this week, Italy is in trouble and Italy will most certainly affect your U.S. stocks.
Cramer said it's just so easy to be a professional pessimist these days. Unless there's a direct connection to U.S. banks, none of these negative stories matter and they're all buying opportunities.
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