What's the difference between a luxury and a necessity? That was the question Jim Cramer pondered with his Mad Money viewers Thursday. Cramer said what was once an easy question to answer has now become a lot more complicated.
According to the hedge fund playbook, at this point in the economic cycle, when interest rates are rising, money managers would be selling high multiple stocks, like tech, and start piling into "safety" stocks like the consumer packaged goods companies. But today, Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report shares plunged 8.4% on a downbeat forecast. It turns out, carbonated beverages are a lot more discretionary than even the company expected. Coke cited currency, interest rates and taxes among its many woes.
But then there's Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report , which has evolved into indispensable technology provider that other companies cannot live without. Despite selling complicated, big ticket hardware and services, Cisco said it's not seeing any signs of a slowdown, thanks in part to what's become a complex geopolitical environment. Cyberarc (CYBR) - Get Report confirmed this trend, soaring 20.4% to new all-time highs as cybersecurity moves to a new level.
Meanwhile, consumers and investors alike are shunning stocks like ConAgra (CAG) - Get Report , Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report and Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report , all of which have lost a third of their value overt the past year.
Are we paying too much for the consumer packaged good makers? Are we not paying enough of a premium for the fast-growing tech names? Cramer concluded that perhaps, we are. Only Clorox (CLX) - Get Report , Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report and Pepsico (PEP) - Get Report have been able to buck this trend.
Executive Decision: Twilio
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jeff Lawson, chairman and CEO of Twilio (TWLO) - Get Report , and Sameer Dholakia, CEO of SendGrid, the transactional email company that was just acquired by Twilio. Shares of Twilio are up 224% over the past year.
Lawson said Twilio had an amazing 2018 and they're very excited about what's possible in 2019. He said every company is in the middle of their digital transformation and tools like Twilio's provide developers with ways to solve real business problems.
Dholakia explained that when customers get confirmation emails from services like AirBNB, that email is being sent by SendGrid. AirBNB is just one of the many customers the two companies have in common. Combined, he said, they can now provide even more value to companies like AirBNB.
The pair also spoke about their 1-1-1 pledge to dedicate 1% of their profits and their employees time to help the communities in which they serve. By combining forces, Dholakia said the two companies can contribute more than ever before.
Now that Fashion Week is wrapping up in New York City, Cramer took a moment to look at the apparel stocks to see who's still en vogue on Wall Street.
Cramer said that Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Report continues to hit it out of the park with the company's five-year plan to attract a new generation of younger customers. He said this stock, which trades at 17 times earnings, should trade between 19 and 20 times earnings.
Cramer was bullish on Capri Holdings (CPRI) - Get Report , formerly Michael Kors, which also aims to use influencers and thought leaders to appeal to a younger demographic. However, he said that Tapestry (TPR) - Get Report is in the penalty box as the company has real issues after paying too much to acquire Kate Spade.
Columbia Sportswear (COLM) - Get Report had the best quarter of any apparel maker, posting a 35-cents-a-share earnings beat that surprised even the company itself. Cramer also remained bullish on Canada Goose (GOOS) - Get Report , despite shares having lost 12.9% over the past 12 months.
Executive Decision: Waste Management
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jim Fish, president and CEO of Waste Management (WM) - Get Report , which just posted a seven-cent-a-share earnings beat that sent shares rocketing to a fresh all-time high. Shares of Waste Management are up 16% over the past 12 months.
Fish explained that Waste Management continues to drive profits at all 249 of its landfill sites thanks to increased efficiencies and cost controls as well as via increased prices and overall volumes. The company is even looking at new technologies, like remote operated vehicles, to take landfill operations to new heights.
Fish said that landfills often get a bad reputation, but in reality, they create a lot of energy and they employ a lot of people and create jobs. The company also continues to look for new ways to recycle more of the items that enter their landfills.
Over the past 18 months, Fish noted that China is no longer the largest buyer of items like newspapers for recycling. That honor, he said, now has come back to the U.S.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Zynga(ZNGA) - Get Report , Global Payments(GPN) - Get Report , Square(SQ) - Get Report , Visa(V) - Get Report , Mastercard(MA) - Get Report and AeroVironment(AVAV) - Get Report .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that when a dividend yield seems too good to be true, it probably is. That was the case with CenturyLink (CTL) - Get Report , the wireline telco provider that Cramer has been warning investors about for months.
Cramer said the stock had been yielding a monster 11.5%, but today, the company cut its dividend in half and shares plunged 13% as a result.
Never in Cramer's career has he ever heard a CEO say things weren't going perfectly just before an event like we saw Thursday. The only way to really know what's going on, he said, is to do the homework. In the case of CenturyLink, the company continually touted its cost-cutting efforts as a way to increase profits.
But Cramer said there's only so many things you can cut at a company and eventually, the revenue losses will catch up to you. That's been the case at wireline telcos for years, he said, as landlines are quickly going the way of the dinosaur.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking at opportunities for growth in their portfolio. 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.
On Real Money, Cramer keys in on the companies and CEOs he knows best. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in the stocks mentioned.