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Rising interest rates are now inevitable, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday, and that's not good for the vast majority of stocks. But that doesn't mean investors should panic, because there are still ways to profit.
What should investors avoid? Cramer said to beware of stocks with dividends over 3%, as they'll soon be pitted against the coming rate hikes. Also steer clear of the health care sector, he said, as many money managers will begin selling this group soon.
Retail and restaurant stocks usually do well in a rising rate environment, but those positives may take awhile to materialize.
But then there are the banks, and that's where the bulls will be, Cramer said. Also, money managers will be clamoring for the high-growth stocks, which are almost always en vogue. Finally, there are mergers and acquisitions, which will pick up even more steam as dealmakers try to close while money remains cheap. Cramer said he's a big fan of Weyerhaeuser(WY) - Get Report after the Plum Creek Timber (PCL) acquisition today, and also of Apache(APA) - Get Report given the many assets that can be bought in the oil patch.
Executive Decision: Bill Tauscher
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Bill Tauscher, chairman and CEO of Blackhawk Network (HAWK) , the leader in gift-card purchasing.
Tauscher said he was shocked by the market's reaction to Blackhawk's quarterly earnings, which were quite positive. He said they remain very pleased with their results and their growth trajectory.
One of the products that has Tauscher excited is a new gift card with partner Stockpile.com that allows people to purchase shares of stocks and ETFs just as they would a normal gift card. Tauscher explained that the cards get purchased as normal, then the recipient goes to the website, creates an account and can purchase stocks for just 99 cents a transaction. The new stock gift cards are currently being tested at 1,500 select locations.
Tauscher also touted Blackhawk's international investments, which continue to bear fruit, and also his company's foray into gift cards as incentives for employees. He said more and more companies are rewarding employees with gift cards, and more and more employees are opting for gift cards.
Don't Overpay for Retail
Now is not the time to shop for retail stocks, Cramer warned viewers, as there are still too many things that ail the sector.
A visit to his local Costco(COST) - Get Report summed up the problem, Cramer explained, as racks and racks of warm coats and sweaters were all but ignored by shoppers still wearing t-shirts and jeans during a November heat wave.
And what about all that talk of higher minimum wages? Cramer asked. What sector does that impact most? Retail and restaurants. Add to that ever-increasing healthcare costs and its easy to see why investing in this group is not yet a good idea.
Retail stocks may seem cheap, Cramer concluded, but they're just not cheap enough.
Executive Decision: Tim Walbert
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Tim Walbert, chairman, president and CEO of Horizon Pharmaceuticals(HZNP) - Get Report , which just released a 34-cents-per-share earnings beat that sent shares soaring 6.1% in an otherwise difficult environment for many biotech stocks.
Walbert started off by explaining that unlike Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) , which has come under fire for its relationships with specialty pharmacies, Horizon has one goal: getting patients the prescriptions that doctors prescribe.
Walbert continued by noting that 96% of all Horizon patients pay less than $10 for each of its seven medications currently on the market.
Horizon also continues to innovate, and Walbert said that his company has spent hundreds of millions offering gastrointestinal protections for their drugs that sometimes cause GI problems.
When asked about future acquisitions, Walbert said that with $700 million on the balance sheet, they continue to plan on two-to-five acquisitions a year through 2020.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on American Airlines(AAL) - Get Report , Delta Air Lines(DAL) - Get Report , Southwest Airlines(LUV) - Get Report , Nordic American Tanker(NAT) - Get Report , Celgene(CELG) - Get Report and Kimberly-Clark(KMB) - Get Report .
Cramer was bearish on Too Inc(TOO) - Get Report , Smith Wesson (SWHC) , Party City(PRTY) - Get Report , Chesapeake Energy(CHK) - Get Report , Carter's(CRI) - Get Report , Eros International(EROS) - Get Report and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) .
Executive Decision: Udi Mokady
In a third, and final, "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Udi Mokady, president and CEO of CyberArk Security(CYBR) - Get Report , the software company that's seen its shares fall over 32% over the past six weeks.
Mokady said that the information-security market continues to thrive, and securing companies from the inside continues to be an area where CyberArk is the leader. He said what was once only for financial companies is now expanding to every company.
When asked about what a manufacturing company would want to protect, Mokady explained that while manufacturing may not have millions of customers' credit card numbers, they do have intellectual property and sensitive employee and supplier information that needs to be protected. No company wants to see their name in the papers next to the word "hack."
CyberArk also continues to make inroads into the lucrative federal space, Mokady said, and his company sees the federal sector as a long-term market.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in COST.