With all of the conflicting data about our economy, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday the Federal Reserve should immediately adopt a wait-and-see approach to interest rates and not proceed with one additional hike next week. If they choose instead to stick with this month's increase, they'd be nuts to raise beyond that level.
The Fed's case to raise interest rates one more time this year was exemplified today by the most recent jobless claims, which fell to 206,000, the lowest level seen since 1969. A tight labor market is inflationary and is what the Fed has been tasked with preventing.
But there are also plenty of deflationary signs in our economy. Investors need to look no further than oil prices, which are a component of just about everything. Energy costs for everyone from retail to manufacturing will heading lower this quarter. Procter & Gamble (PG) and Clorox (CLX) both mentioned this quarter that recent price increases are sticking, which means gross margins will rise when energy costs fall.
Beyond oil prices, housing prices continue to tilt lower and loan defaults are on the rise at some regional banks. Transportation seems to be slowing as well, as evidenced by FedEx (FDX) .
With so much conflicting information, now is simply not the time to throw more uncertainty in the mix, Cramer concluded, which is why he'd like to see the Fed not raise rates next week.Executive Decision: Adobe
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Shantanu Narayen, chairman, president and CEO of Adobe Systems (ADBE) , the creative cloud software provider that just posted a two-cent-a-share earnings beat with strong guidance.
Narayen said that Adobe remains in the sweet spot of creativity and the ongoing digital transformation. The company's recent acquisitions of both Magento and Marketo are off to a great start, with revenues exceeding expectations. These products will help Adobe customers go from leads to revenue faster than ever before, he said, in both the business to business and business to consumer markets.
Adobe's advertising cloud also offers companies deep insights into their business and the latest trends. Narayen noted that Adobe tracks retail spending and online activity at a scale few others can match.
In the end, everyone has a story to tell, Narayen said, and enabling their creativity is a gratifying and uplifting experience for all Adobe employees.
Cramer reiterated his recommendation of Adobe.Know Your IPO
While Tencent was the ninth largest IPO of the year, investors seemed to barely notice this streaming media giant with 880 million users. In addition to streaming, Tencent also includes a messaging service, social media, micro-payments and a lot more. The company also boasts an incredible growth rate and a balance sheet with $1.6 billion in cash.
But despite the company's many positives, Cramer said there are also some big negatives, including a complex corporate structure that gives shareholders no voting power. The company is also, obviously, based in China, which is suffering from a slowing economy and continuing trade war.
Even trading at 44 times earnings, Cramer said the political risk is simply too great to recommend Tencent. If the trade war ends, however, this may be THE Chinese stock to own.
Am I Diversified?
In the "Am I Diversified" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets. The first portfolio included Amazon (AMZN) , IDEXX Labs (IDXX) , UnitedHealth Group (UNH) , Waste Management (WM) and Square (SQ) .
Cramer said this portfolio was properly diversified.
Cramer said this portfolio needed some changes and advised selling Facebook and adding a healthcare name, like UnitedHealth.
This portfolio Cramer called "perfection."
Cramer said this portfolio was also properly diversified.
Cramer was bearish on Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) .
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No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on whether the banks and the oil stocks represent value or value traps. He said the bank stocks represent tremendous value at their current levels. The only problem? The market doesn't seem to care.
There's simply no catalyst, no reason to own the banks right now, Cramer continued. The opportunity costs of owning them are too high. The banks cannot consolidate any further, they offer no real dividend or stock buyback protection and their growth is lackluster.
As for the oil stocks, it's true these names are falling faster than the decline of oil itself, and that would normally be a reason to buy. But in today's market, investors would rather own the utilities than the oil producers. Utilities have more growth and bigger dividends to boot.
Cramer concluded that while Goldman Sachs (GS) now trades below its book value, something that's never happened before, there's just no reason to own either of these groups, as least for the time being.
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