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Panic is not a strategy, Jim Cramer reminded his Mad Money viewers Thursday. As some investors fret over the price of oil and the solvency of European banks, smart investors should be using the weakness to buy, buy, buy.
Sure, oil prices are the lowest they've been since 2003, and that will certainly mean more pain ahead for the oil patch and any banks that lent money to the oil patch. But investing, at least for those of us who aren't hedge fund managers or futures traders, is about buying the stocks of companies we like at prices we love, and there was a lot to love today.
Cramer recommended buyingWalt Disney(DIS) - Get Report on yesterday's weakness and that stock is already up a quick $4 a share from its lows. Then here's Procter & Gamble(PG) - Get Report , a stock with a 3.3% yield that Cramer said investors can't afford NOT to buy at these levels.
Cramer also gave the nod to Cisco(CSCO) - Get Report , a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, which posted better-than-expected earnings and boosted its dividend to 4.25%. He also reiterated a buy on McDonald's(MCD) - Get Report and Johnson & Johnson(JNJ) - Get Report .
Executive Decision: Emil Brolick
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Emil Brolick, president and CEO, and Todd Penegor, executive vice president and CFO of Wendy's(WEN) - Get Report , which delivered a 1-cent-a-share earnings beat on a 4.8% rise in same-store sales with a solid outlook for the rest of 2016.
Brolick touted Wendy's new vegetarian black bean sandwich as an example of his company's new "deliciously different" strategy. The sandwich, which is currently being tested, could roll out nationally soon. Brolick said Wendy's will be doing a big digital and social advertising push when it does.
Penegor focused on the fact that Wendy's has been offering fresh ingredients and letting customers decide how they want their items for over 46 years. He said Wendy's is making big investments in technology to bring even more choices with things like mobile ordering and payments.
When asked about the economy, Brolick noted that with gasoline less than half of what it costs just a few years ago, consumers definitely have more money in their pockets for Wendy's.
Is Janet Yellen Wrong?
Is it time to start rooting against job growth in our country so the Federal Reserve will stop talking about interest rate hikes? Cramer said it seems clear that Fed Chair Janet Yellen sees higher wages leading to higher inflation that must be stopped at all costs, even if those costs include throwing the rest of the world into recession.
Is Yellen wrong? Cramer said he's not going to say "they know nothing" as he did in his infamous Fed rant. But it is clear the Fed knows too many things about how the world used to work and too little about how things actually are.
The U.S. economy no longer operates in a vacuum, Cramer explained. Digitization and offshoring play key roles in our economy now. The Internet has laid waste to much of the retail industry. Trade deals like Nafta help keep many high-paying jobs overseas.
Cramer said what's really driving higher wages are the countless increases to the minimum wage, not true job growth. That's why the smart thing for the Fed to do is publicly say it is taking a pause, a pause that could not only save America but the rest of the world.
Executive Decision: Ron Shaich
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Ron Shaich, chairman and CEO at Panera Bread (PNRA) , the company that delivered a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 3.6% rise in same-store sales, news that sent shares up a quick 5%.
Shaich said Panera's new 2.0 store format is resonating incredibly well with customers, with same-store sales up 6.4% at those locations. The 2.0 Panera takes the guesswork out of finding your food after ordering by offering convenient table-side delivery.
Shaich also touted Panera's customer loyalty program, which is the largest in the restaurant business. Panera is also expanding into mobile and online ordering, with 16% of all orders already being placed digitally.
Cramer said that Panera, which is an Action Alerts PLUS holding, remains among his favorite restaurant names.
Cramer was bearish on Marathon Petroleum(MPC) - Get Report , Tesla Motors(TSLA) - Get Report , Baxalta (BXLT) , Reynolds American (RAI) , Tiffany & Co(TIF) - Get Report , XPO Logistics(XPO) - Get Report , Himax Technologies(HIMX) - Get Report , Ionis Pharmaceuticals(IONS) - Get Report and Hertz Global Holdings(HTZ) - Get Report .
Executive Decision: Tim Boyle
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with with Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear(COLM) - Get Report , a stock that Cramer recommended three weeks ago after a blizzard pummeled the Northeast. Today, Columbia posted a 14-cents-a-share earnings beat.
Boyle said Columbia is all about keeping people comfortable so they can stay outdoors longer. Columbia also continues to focus on making their business less seasonal and less weather dependent.
Boyle touted the company's Prana brand, which focuses on yoga and women's apparel, as one area of strong growth for Columbia. Boyle also noted that while the company continues to concentrate on existing brands, it also still has the ability to acquire new brands as they become available.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in CSCO and PNRA.