Today's roller coaster of a market was like having three trading sessions rolled into one, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday, after stocks rallied at the open, declined midday and changed direction yet again going into the close. What was the cause of the midday weakness? Cramer ID'd the culprit as a string of bad corporate news.
The bad news began with a pretty good quarter from Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Report , but one that wasn't good enough to justify the stock's run up from $105 to $120 a share. After an 8.5% decline, rival LAM Research (LRCX) - Get Report also posted great numbers, but saw its shares rally 4%.
The next bad news was supply chain surveys indicating that Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report iPhone X may be experiencing slowing sales. Cramer again came to Apple's defense, as this Action Alerts PLUS holding has triumphed over weakness many times before and these surveys are fraught with inaccuracies.
And finally, there was General Electric (GE) - Get Report , which fell by 2.6% after a nasty -- but not horrible -- quarter. There were some signs of hope, Cramer noted, but nothing to write home about quite yet.
Cramer again told viewers to use weakness, however momentary, to buy, because stocks are likely to rally again, maybe more than once, tomorrow.
Cramer and the AAP team say Abbott (ABT) - Get Report is displaying strong execution in its fourth-quarter results. 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: Logitech
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again sat down with Bracken Darrell, president and CEO of Logitech International (LOGI) - Get Report , the computer accessory maker that just posted a seven-cents-a-share earnings beat with a strong 22% rise in revenues. Shares of Logitech are up 76% since Cramer first got behind the company 15 months ago.
Darrell again highlighted Logitech's latest wireless Bluetooth speakers, which are sturdy, waterproof and of course, sound great. He said they now feature wireless charging and even have Amazon.com's (AMZN) - Get Report Alexa built in.
When asked about Logitech's growth, Darrell said they have three ways to win. Their end markets are growing, he said, they are gaining share in those markets and they are entering totally new markets, like headsets for gaming consoles.
Darrell was also upbeat about e-sports, which are growing in popularity and are now even eclipsing some traditional sporting events.
Logitech also is a leader in video conferencing and home security products. The age of do-it-yourself home security is here to stay, he said, and for as little as $800, you can outfit an entire home with no monthly fees.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says stocks can go down, even the best ones. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Wrapping Up the Consumer Packaged Goods Stocks
What should investors make of the consumer packaged goods stocks? These are well-run companies with serious dividends after all, but they're also falling out of favor on Wall Street.
Cramer said the CPG stocks have a lot of headwinds at the moment. They're constrained by the growth of online retail (yes, Amazon) and also by value-minded millennial consumers. They also typically do best when birth rates are rising, which they're only just now beginning to do, eight years after the recession. Rising interest rates make the dividends from CPG companies less attractive and, let's face it, these companies aren't innovating like tech or healthcare.
All of this means that money managers are looking toward the industrials and cyclicals and leaving CPG behind. Cramer said he still recommends stocks like Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report for those investors looking for income. But if you're seeking growth, you'll need to keep looking.
Executive Decision: ITW
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed back to the show Scott Santi, chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) - Get Report , the Action Alerts PLUS holding, shares of which barely budged Wednesday after a terrific earnings report.
Santi explained that Illinois Tool Works has been around for 105 years and is built for the long term. So while some segments, like automotive, were soft this quarter, other areas, such as welding, more than offset it. He said there is a shortage of skilled labor in many trades right now, which makes their products all the more valuable as they make sophisticated technology more accessible to lesser skilled workers.
Even in the automotive segment, which was soft this quarter, Illinois Tool Works has been growing faster than the segment for the past four years. Food service also remains an important part of the company and Santi said their equipment helps restaurant owners save in operating costs.
Executive Decision: First Horizon National
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked back in with Bryan Jordan, chairman, president and CEO of First Horizon National (FHN) - Get Report , for a fresh take on the regional banks. First Horizon is currently the nation's fourth largest regional bank.
Jordan said First Horizon's 33% dividend boost is both a sign of growth and profitability now, and also a signal that the future is strong. He said the integration of Capital Bank continues and will help them expand into even more geographies outside of Tennessee.
First Horizon is seeing a pickup in lending, Jordan said, partly from deregulation, partly from tax reforms and also partly from a pickup in consumer sentiment.
Finally, Jordan said, things continue to go well in the company's home state of Tennessee, which has a dynamic economy thanks to its low-tax status. The state currently has no income tax, which makes it attractive for many industries.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Dominion Energy (D) - Get Report , U.S. Concrete (USCR) - Get Report , Banco Santander (SAN) - Get Report , Republic First Bancorp (FRBK) - Get Report , First Horizon National (FHN) - Get Report , Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Report and NVIDIA (NVDA) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ABT, ITW, AAPL, GE, NVDA.