Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell did right by the American people and the stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday.
Powell's comments today showed that patience is still a virtue in Washington, Cramer said, and he saluted the Fed's change in direction.
Powell confirmed today that the Fed has adopted a wait-and-see approach to the economy and there's no need for further tightening at this moment. The economy is on a solid footing, Powell decided, and who doesn't want a strong economy?
Cramer said there were a list of reasons why Powell came to this decision, including a global economic downturn, a strong dollar, a deceleration in retail, housing, recreation and autos. There was also a continuing trade war, a government shutdown and plunging oil and commodity prices to contend with.
But what's most important, Cramer said, was that when the facts changed, Powell changed his mind.
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How Important Is the Dollar?
While the bulls collectively breathed a sigh of relief now that the Fed is taking a data-dependent approach to the interest rates, Cramer told viewers there's one aspect of the Fed's former policy that's been largely overlooked, and that's the strong dollar.
When the Fed is raising interest rates, the dollar strengthens, Cramer explained, and that's bad news for companies that operate overseas. Case in point: Apple (AAPL) , which could attribute 3% to 4% of its Chinese iPhone slowdown directly to currency pressures. A strong dollar means the iPhone gets more expensive when compared to its rivals. That leaves Apple with only one option -- to cut prices to offset the move, which then hurts the company's bottom line.
But it wasn't just Apple that saw pressures. A rising dollar also was to blame for weakness at Caterpillar (CAT) , United Technologies (UTX) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and countless other industrial and international giants.
But now that the Fed's on hold with interest rates, the dollar can soften, which will translate into hundreds of millions of dollars for these large companies.
Executive Decision: Domino's
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Rich Allison, CEO of Domino's Pizza (DPZ) , to learn more about their business and the company's latest promotions.
Allison said Domino's new "Points for Pies" program lets anyone earn points towards a free pizza, simply by sending them a photo of a pizza. The company is using the latest in artificial intelligence to identify the pizzas and assign the points. Allison said he expects the program will grow the pizza category and Domino's share. Domino's currently has over 20 million active customers in their rewards program.
When asked about the upcoming Super Bowl, Allison said the event remains the biggest day of the year for Domino's and they expect to sell over two million pizzas. Sales are typically up 40% on Super Bowl Sunday.
Turning to other topics, Allison said Domino's franchises remain an excellent investment for franchisees, and the company continues to explore new technologies, like self-driving cars, to move the business forward.
Finally, Allison said Domino's remains committed to returning cash to shareholders via their dividend and stock buyback program. Cramer said he remains a believer in the company.
Executive Decision: American Electric Power
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed back Nick Akins, chairman, president and CEO of American Electric Power (AEP) , the utility with shares up just 3% for the year as Wall Street sets its eyes on other sectors.
Akins said it's been another great year for American Electric Power, both in terms of weather and also because of the growing economy. While tariffs and trade have slowed some sectors, most of the U.S. economy continues to advance in many ways.
As for that weather tailwind, Akins said extreme cold snaps, like the one currently gripping most of the country, keep the meters turning and electrical loads increasing. Overall consumption is there, he said, and grid is in great shape to handle it.
Turning to another hot topic, electric vehicles, Akins said there are one million EVs on the road today, with estimates of 18 million by 2025. American Electric Power will continue to be a part of that transition, he said, both in terms of charging and storage capacity.
Executive Decision: ServiceNow
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke to John Donahoe, president and CEO of ServiceNow (NOW) , a company at the forefront of the enterprise digital transformation.
Donahoe said that 75% of Fortune 500 companies now use the ServiceNow platform, as they continue to drive productivity. For decades, software was functionally oriented, he said, but in today's world, problems need to be solved across functions. That makes ServiceNow's workflow platform more valuable than ever.
Donahoe added that what he's most excited about for 2019 are mobile applications finally coming to the enterprise. Mobile has been huge in the consumer world, but lacking at work. Now, getting information and fixing problems will be as easy as picking up your phone or tablet.
ServiceNow is helping to transform the future of work, Donahoe said, using the latest technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to keep themselves at the forefront of great user experiences.
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