Making money in the stock market just got a little harder, Jim Cramer admitted to his Mad Money viewers Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve indicated it favors more interest rate hikes than we expected. Rates are still low by historical standards, however, which led Cramer to predict only a short pause in the market's rally.
Make no mistake about it, Cramer said, higher interest rates are not a positive thing for stocks. They will gradually slow the economy and make bonds more attractive with every quarter-point rise. That doesn't mean investors can't make money. It's just going to get harder.
For example, it's only natural that investors will be selling the housing stocks and swapping into the banks, which thrive on higher rates. Banks will be getting an additional boost from the coming wave of mergers that will be spawned by the Time Warner (TWX) deal.
Retail stocks are vulnerable, Cramer said, and he expects a 5% to 8% correction could be in the cards for these high-fliers. Consumer packaged goods may also see weakness, as their growth and dividends aren't enough to overcome the allure of bonds. The techs and the industrials could also take a hit, especially in the short term.
Over on Real Money, Cramer explains why he thinks it's good that retailers are taking some hits after recent gains. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Cramer said he is still a fan of FANG, however. (That's his his acronym for Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report ) Cramer said all of these companies continue taking market share.
Even with a few rate hikes this year, rates remain low historically, Cramer added, which is why he sees the coming weakness as only a pause in the rally and not a long-term trend.
Cramer and the AAP team say the Producer Price Index data point to an improving environment for Nucor (NUE) - Get 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.
Executive Decision: RH
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Gary Friedman, chairman and CEO of RH (RH) - Get Report , formerly known as Restoration Hardware. Shares of RH are up 37% in just the past week, after the company reported a phenomenal quarter, and have rallied 104% over the past three months.
When asked why investors didn't see these stellar results coming, Friedman said Wall Street missed everything RH told them was coming. RH not fitting themselves into existing retail models, he said, they're is building new ones every day. His company isn't closing stores, they're building bigger ones. They're not phasing out catalogs, they're mailing more of them. They're not doing promotions, they're moving to a membership model. RH is innovating beyond today's reality and into tomorrow's future, he added.
RH is also innovating on its balance sheet, issuing two convertible bond deals totaling $600 million when rates were low and they didn't need the money, so they could have it on hand to buy back shares when everyone else had all but given up.
Cramer said that even after the stock's monster move, RH is not done going higher.
Watch the New Media Landscape
What should investors take away from the court's decision to allow the AT&T (T) - Get Report -- Time Warner deal to proceed? Cramer said the surprise verdict is all about one thing, trying to save traditional media in a world where the odds favor its extinction.
It's clear that traditional media is fighting for its survival, trying to stave off fierce competition from the likes of Google and Facebook, and also cord-cutting consumers that are leaving their services in droves. Cramer said the move sets the stage for other mega deals, like Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Report $65 billion bid for assets of Fox (FOXA) - Get Report .
In reading the ruling that was handed down, Cramer said it's almost as if the Justice Department doesn't understand the world we live in. Traditional media is at a huge disadvantage, with costs that are too great and revenues that are too weak. It doesn't matter how big they become, he concluded, they're still only a fraction of the new media landscape.
Cramer says when you spend a whole day interviewing and listening to more than a dozen people, as he did last week at TheDeal's Corporate Governance conference, you can come back with a gazillion takeaways. Check out his Top Takeaways over on Real Money.
Giants Among Companies
Looking for the market's biggest winners? Cramer offered up a new lens through which you can find them, just look at those companies with market caps over $100 billion. Cramer ticked off eight names that made the list in 2017.
DowDuPont ( DWPT) not only merged to exceed the $100 billion mark, it's also splitting itself into three to unlock even more value. Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report also made the list, as this Action Alerts PLUS holding has products in a lot more than just games. Nike (NKE) - Get Report returned to the list after fighting off stiff competition, while Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Report benefited from a bull market and a big stock buyback.
Finally, Cramer called out United Technologies as a big winner in the industrial space. But he added that while UPS (UPS) - Get Report is now a member of the $100 billion market-cap club, he prefers XPO Logistics (XPO) - Get Report instead.
Continuing with his dive into the most recent additions to the $100 billion club, Cramer then looked into seven names that joined this list just this year.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Xylem (XYL) - Get Report , Kemet (KEM) - Get Report , Iovance Biotherapeutics (IOVA) - Get Report , Waste Management (WM) - Get Report , Boston Scientific (BSX) - Get Report and Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in NUE, FB, AMZN, GOOGL, CMCSA, NVDA, ABT, CRM, PYPL.