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Consistency and discipline are two values this market has sorely lacked in 2016, Jim Cramer told Mad Money viewers Thursday. The market's revaluation of companies on almost an hourly basis has become a nightmare for individual investors, Cramer said, which is why he continues to urge them not to play the short-term game.
Case in point: the continued gyrations of Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report , which immediately rose 2.3% on the news that CEO John Stumpf was retiring in the aftermath of a bogus account scandal. But upon further review, the markets decided that Congress may not be satisfied with a new CEO, sending shares lower by 1.2% by the close today. What will tomorrow hold when the company reports earnings? Only time will tell. But Cramer said with a 3.4% dividend yield, the stock might be worth buying for the long term.
Then there are the airlines, where Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report missed the mark once again on earnings but saw shares rise 1.8%. Why? Because management indicated slower growth for 2017, which gave investors hope that fare wars with rivals may be coming to an end. Cramer said it's not too late to buy this group for the long term either.
Finally, there's Ulta Salon (ULTA) - Get Ulta Beauty Inc Report , a Cramer fave that shot up 11.3% on strong earnings. Cramer said Ulta had become a victim of its own success, causing shares to plummet last quarter, but Ulta never deserved those lower valuations.
But that's the nature of the nature of the beast when you play the short-term game, Cramer concluded, which is why individuals should be investing for the long term.
Executive Decision: Dave Cote
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Dave Cote, chairman and CEO of industrial giant Honeywell (HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. (HON) Report , which saw its shares fall more than $10 when it reported just two weeks ago on what investors viewed as a negative outlook for the future.
Cote admitted he was wrong in how he communicated Honeywell's prospects for 2017 and beyond this quarter, saying that he chose to focus on the short-term impacts of the company's spinoff and restructuring, rather than the longer-term outlook, which he assumed investors already knew about. "I was astounded by the reaction," he continued.
Cote sought to sooth investors' fears by saying Honeywell still predicts EPS growth between 8% and 9% and the company continues to invest heavily to put itself into a solid position for 2017.
Among Honeywell's many strengths remains energy efficiency, which accounts for 50% of the company's portfolio. Cote is also bullish on the Internet of things and connected aircraft, where the company is certifying new technology that will allow passengers to download a two hour movie in two minutes while at 45,000 feet in the air.
Cramer said he continues to support Honeywell.
One positive investment theme after another keeps disappearing, Cramer told viewers, and that's going to make for a volatile earnings season.
With the surprising news that Chinese exports fell by 10%, the rally in commodities and companies that sell into China fell apart almost instantly, Cramer said. While he's not inclined to believe a single metric, the market sure seems to be.
Even cyber security, which was not believed to be economically sensitive, received bad news when Fortinet (FTNT) - Get Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) Report offered disappointing earnings that put the strong quarters from Palo Alto Networks (PANW) - Get Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Report and others into question.
Finally, there's Samsung (SSNLF) , a company being devastated by the Galaxy Note 7 recall, which is putting the outlook for semiconductor equipment stocks like KLA Tencor (KLAC) - Get KLA Corporation (KLAC) Report and LAM Research (LRCX) - Get Lam Research Corporation (LRCX) Report under the microscope.
All of these issues are exactly what the market doesn't need as it attempts to price in the effects of a possible Federal Reserve rate hike in December.
Executive Decision: Mary Dillon
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Salon, which saw its shares pop 11.3% after the company delivered a positive outlook to investors during its annual analyst day.
Dillon said now that everyone has a great camera in their pockets and are taking lots of photos, the need to look your best has never been greater. That's why teens and millennials love Ulta Beauty. It's also why Dillon said Ulta has many years of growth ahead.
Dillon added that she's especially proud of Ulta's loyalty rewards program, which drives a lot of value for its 20.6 million members, but also allows Ulta to provide targeted offers that customers love.
There are many places to buy cosmetics, but only Ulta brings hair care, skin care and fragrances together in one place, Dillon said. Despite all its successes, Ulta currently only accounts for 4% of the $127 billion beauty market.
Cramer said the Ulta story "is not done."
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Kinder Morgan (KMI) - Get Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI) Report , Opko Health (OPK) - Get OPKO Health, Inc. Report , Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) and Radius Health (RDUS) - Get Radius Health Inc Report .
Off the Tape
In his "Off the Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with Chip Bergh, president and CEO of the privately held Levi Strauss, to hear how this company has been able to buck the downward pull of the retail and apparel sectors.
Bergh said there are three strategies working at Levi. First is a focus on the core business, investing in new categories and a direct-to-consumer business model. Second, Levi has a global footprint and now sells in 110 countries around the globe. And third, the brand is resonating again with consumers.
To the third point, Bergh added that consumers want both value and values, and Levi products last longer and are made in a conscientious way. He noted that Levi's worker well-being program has shown that for every $1 invested into factory worker's well being, factory owners are seeing a $4 return in lower absenteeism and turnover.
Cramer said some brands really last and Levi is one of them.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AA and WFC.