Optimism about trade is what inspired the market to rally today, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday.
Just a few months ago, if we'd had a day with oil above $70 a barrel and interest rates shooting above 3%, Cramer said, the markets would've tanked. But today, optimism reigns supreme.
Cramer reminded viewers that rising interest rates are not something to fear. It simply means the economy is doing well, and stocks have rallied with rates far higher than they are today. With strong employment and low inflation, it's only natural rates will rise and that's great news for the banks, which can help lead the market still higher.
It's also important to note that previously, when Cramer's high-growth FANG stocks rallied, the rest of the market declined. But in our current market, there's enough strength for multiple sectors to rally at the same time.
Cramer said the only things investors have to fear are days when the market opens up big. The 10 a.m. nosedive has become a staple of 2018.
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The Market Isn't Always Fair
The stock market isn't always fair, Cramer told viewers, but it's not unfair in the ways you might expect. This week, the market digested big news from two great companies. Walt Disney Co. (DIS) told investors it's spending big on its upcoming streaming services, while Walmart (WMT) spent $16 billion to acquire Flipkart in India. Both stocks were punished on the news.
Cramer said that's because the stock market doesn't reward big companies for spending big, even if that spending makes perfect sense. Indeed, only startups and growth companies are allowed to spend with abandon. In this market, that means Amazon (AMZN) , Netflix and Tesla (TSLA) . These companies can seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of Wall Street. If Amazon had bought Flipkart, the market would have cheered.
Despite Disney and Walmart not getting the same special treatment, Cramer said both of these deals make a ton of sense and will ultimately pay off big for shareholders.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says these stocks are getting hit for investing in their future. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Etsy
For an "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Josh Silverman, CEO of the online marketplace Etsy (ETSY) , which saw its shares fall 4.5% after the company reported strong earnings that included a top- and bottom-line beat. Shares of Etsy were up 50% for the year going into this quarter's results.
Silverman explained that Etsy stands for special, and is the antidote to commodity online shopping experiences. The company boasts 1.9 million sellers that offer 50 million handmade items to the site's 30 million buyers around the globe. Last year, the company sold $1 billion worth of goods overseas.
Silverman added that Etsy is becoming a virtuous circle as it grows. Sellers appreciate Etsy's platform that allows them to focus on what they love, making things. Meanwhile, the additional sellers attract even more buyers to the service. Etsy allows individuals to build their businesses right from their living room.
In addition to its artistic nature, Etsy is also a technology powerhouse, using the latest in machine learning to choose the best items for every user while they're searching.
Executive Decision: Zebra Technologies
In another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies Corp. (ZBRA) , which just posted a monster 51-cents-a-share earnings beat, sending shares up a quick 11% yesterday.
Zebra Technologies was an integral, yet invisible, part of this year's Super Bowl, Gustafsson said, as his company's technology tracked every movement of every player, referee and the ball itself. He explained that players had two sensors under each shoulder pad, while the ball held a chip that weighed three grams under the laces. These sensors provided positioning coordinates 10 times a second on every play.
Beyond sports, Gustafsson explained that Zebra's core business is productivity enhancement. Zebra provides the foundational technology many businesses need to get their work done efficiently. Healthcare has become the company's fastest growing vertical, as mistakes with medication or testing can be fatal if not done correctly.
Zebra is also shoring up its balance sheet by paying down debt. The company had a debt to earnings ratio of five times, Gustafsson explained, but they're now down to 2.8 times and continue to head to their target range of 2.0 to 2.5 times.
Executive Decision: XPO Logistics
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also checked in with Brad Jacobs, chairman and CEO of XPO Logistics (XPO) , the transportation provider with shares up 16% in 2018.
Jacobs said that as ecommerce grows, XPO grows. His company is now the leading provider of last-mile delivery and also handles millions of return shipments. His company's new XPO Direct services rents excess capacity at 75 facilities to XPO customers, allowing them to be closer to the consumers.
Jacobs added that XPO has over 20,000 trucks, 40,000 trailers and 10,000 intermodal containers at the ready to handle the continued growth of ecommerce in the U.S. The company is also big on technology, employing both robots and drones to manage inventory and fulfillment services.
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