We're nearing the end of the quarter and that could explain a lot of the volatility we're seeing in the stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. How should investors play this seesaw market? Cramer offered up some advice.
The first reason for this week's selloff was Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , an Action Alerts PLUS holding. Cramer explained that tepid sales of Apple's new iPhone 8 may just be confusion over the unreleased iPhone X, but that won't stop investors from selling Apple and all of its suppliers needlessly.
So many people that try to trade Apple end up buying high and selling low, which is why Cramer continued to recommend just owning Apple for the long term. The company is trading at just 14 times 2018 estimates and has $260 billion in cash.
The second selloff fear is in the cloud, Cramer said, with investors taking a cue from one line in the Adobe Systems (ADBE) - Get Report conference call about slowing sales. This news sent all of the cloud stocks lower, but Cramer said he's still a fan of everything cloud-related.
The fact is that it's the end of the quarter and it's only natural for some investors to take profits. It's also the time when hedge funds see redemptions and need to sell to cover them. What's more important, however, is that investors use this weakness for what it is -- a buying opportunity.
Executive Decision: Red Hat
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Eric Shander, CEO of open-source software provider Red Hat Inc. (RHT) - Get Report , which just posted a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat with bullish guidance -- news that sent shares up 4% on the day.
Shander painted a very bullish picture for Red Hat, saying the strength this quarter was across the board and not limited to just one sector or geography. The investments Red Hat has made in its platform are paying off, he noted, and that can be seen in its strong growth.
When asked for more details on the business, Shander added that sales to the federal government remain strong and have not been capped as some had feared. He also called out Europe as a growing market for his company.
The discussions with companies regarding the cloud are changing, Shander said. Initially, moving to the cloud was all about saving money. But today, companies like Key Corp (KEY) - Get Report are looking to speed development by containerizing applications into manageable pieces. Red Hat has all of the components these companies need for a successful deployment, Shander said.
Executive Decision: VMWare
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Sanjay Poonen, COO of Customer Operations at VMWare (VMW) - Get Report , the cloud software company that's fallen $4 from its recent highs.
Poonen said that VMWare remains the de facto name in data centers and has saved enough energy to power 40% of the homes in the U.S. for an entire year. VMWare has also recently partnered with Amazon.com's (AMZN) - Get Report AWS to bring scaleable solutions to public and private clouds, and now makes it easy to scale data center capacity on the fly.
Poonen called out Nike (NKE) - Get Report as a great example of what VMWare can do. He explained that Nike not only uses his company's virtualization, data center and cloud software, but also its mobile security services as well.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report , Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Report , General Electric (GE) - Get Report and Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) - Get Report .
Off the Charts: Eli Lilly
Collins first looked at a daily chart of Lilly, noting a seesaw pattern, with highs near $84 in July, lows of $77 in August and shares now back to $84. With each decline, the stock had a strong floor of support with a rapid recovery on strong volume.
The weekly chart was also bullish in Collins' view, with a ceiling of $84.25 that was recently breached. Cramer agreed, seeing a bullish "W" pattern that he called one of the most reliable in the book.
Cramer and the AAP team say it takes discipline to get stock prices right. Find out what they're telling their investment club members about Illinois Tool Works (ITW) - Get Report , Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO) - Get Report and Apple, and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ITW, AVGO, AAPL, KEY, LUV, GE, LLY.