When it comes to trade wars, we have three economies, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. There's the domestic economy, the international economy -- and the tech economy, Cramer explained, and they all act differently.
The international economy is, of course, the most affected by trade. You'll find this cohort over-represented in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. With President Trump adding additional tariffs on steel and aluminum, it's only natural to expect our allies, mainly Canada, Mexico and Germany, to retaliate. The banks are also affected, since less global trade means fewer financial transactions.
But then there's the domestic economy, over-represented in the Nasdaq, which has little or nothing to do with tariffs and will emerge largely unscathed.
Then there's the tech economy, also concentrated on the Nasdaq. This group, Cramer said, appears to be impervious to just about everything. New regulations in the EU are only bolstering the likes of Facebook (FB - Get Report) and Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) , and tariffs will have no effect.
Unlike the troubles in Italy, which have no effect on the U.S., tariffs are the opposite, Cramer said, and they do have tangible effects.
But perhaps the biggest winner from these trade wars is Nucor (NUE - Get Report) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding that has everything to gain from the efforts to finally putting a stop to cheap, imported steel.
Cramer and the AAP are looking to buy into this selloff, especially after raising cash earlier in the week - but they aren't rushing into anything. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Nutanix
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Dheeraj Pandey, chairman and CEO of Nutanix (NTNX - Get Report) , the cloud infrastructure provider with shares that are up 51% for the year and over 300% over the past 12 months.
Pandey said that Nutanix is all about the modernization of the data center. He explained the first wave of modernizing began 10 years ago with the movement toward virtualization, but that movement created a lot of inefficiencies. Nutanix has redesigned their platform from the ground up to solve these inefficiencies. Their hyper-convergence of private and public clouds can usher in new levels of security and management for compliance and governance.
The cloud is all about starting small and expanding as you grow, Pandey added, and that's why many Nutanix customers become more valuable over time. "There's a real movement around our company," Pandey said, and customers, partners and prospects all feel a unique momentum building.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Shares of Dick's had been on a long downward slide for over 10 months, after investors realized that the bankruptcy of rival Sports Authority was not really a good thing, especially in the short term, as the channel was flooded with excess inventory. That's why when the company announced this quarter that inventories were down and sales were up, investors cheered, even though same store sales fell by 2.5%.
Dick's has also been resurrecting itself for the modern age, embracing online sales, expanding their private label offerings and providing expertise in stores that you cannot find elsewhere.
Retail is brutal for those who don't get it, Cramer concluded, but this quarter Dick's proved they "get it."
Over on Real Money, Cramer takes a closer look at Dick's winning game plan. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
3M in the Spotlight
When a stock you love gets put through the meat grinder, you need to determine whether it's a broken stock or a broken company, Cramer reminded viewers, as he dove into long-time favorite, 3M (MMM - Get Report) , which is now off 24% from its January highs.
Cramer said 3M has a long history of innovation that's helped propel the stock 78% over the past five years. But beginning in January, the stock began to fall and has yet to find a bottom, making it look more and more like a broken company.
The bear case for 3M is that rising trade tensions will hurt internationals sales more than investors realize. 3M currently gets 60% of its sales from overseas. Add to that a change in the company's CEO and it's easy to see why investors might want to worry.
But Cramer said the bull case for 3M is that the stock has already fallen too far, too fast, and the company has a lot of flexibility to raise its dividend and buyback programs. Trading at 17.5 times earnings, Cramer said 3M is a steal, which is why he continues to own shares for Action Alerts PLUS. He may have been wrong so far this year, but it's simply too late to sell now.
Executive Decision: VICI Properties
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down for the first time with Ed Pitoniak, CEO of VICI Properties (VICI - Get Report) , the REIT formed by the bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment.
Pitoniak said that his career has spanned ski resorts, beach destinations and hotels, but he's never worked with better assets than what VICI has to offer. He said Las Vegas brings tremendous upside potential while his company's regional properties bring stability for investors.
Experiences are key with younger consumers, Pitoniak added, and no one is better at reinventing themselves than casino operators. That said, VICI is not just tied to Caesars, or even to casinos, and the company is building a diversified portfolio of properties that includes four golf courses.
When asked about sports gambling, Pitoniak said he thinks there will be a lots of opportunities created by more sports gambling, as it's a shared experience that people are enjoying more and more every year.
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