There are plenty of bulls in this market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. The key is to know which one you're riding.
Cramer said there are different bulls at play, each betting whether we will, or will not, soon have a vaccine and/or the next round of government stimulus. Which stocks rally depends on which bull is in charge on any given day.
Thursday, the "no vaccine, no stimulus" bull took center stage and that's why we saw a strong rally in technology, with a 6.4% surge in Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report, 3.4% gains in Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, and Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report, Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get salesforce.com, inc. Report and Etsy (ETSY) - Get Etsy, Inc. Report all making gains. We also saw continued strength in Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report, after the entertainment giant made it clear earlier this week that Disney+ could offset losses from its theme parks and ESPN.
Which bull will the market be riding tomorrow? It's anyone's guess, Cramer concluded.
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Executive Decision: Papa John's Pizza
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Rob Lynch, president and CEO of Papa John's Pizza (PZZA) - Get Papa John's International, Inc. Report, the delivery chain that just posted strong earnings that included a 28% rise in U.S. same-store sales.
Lynch said Papa John's is very much a turnaround story and their teams have been hard at work creating new products and new messaging which helped attract over two million new digital customers in the second quarter. Lynch said having Shaquille O'Neal as a spokesman has been a big win for the company, and Shaq is also a board member and has been instrumental in helping Papa John's begin a new chapter.
When asked about the pandemic, Lynch noted that their original plans didn't change when COVID-19 hit, they only accelerated. Papa John's has been doing their part to help displaced workers, having recently hired over 20,000 new employees. They have also increased employee benefits to include telemedicine and greater tuition reimbursement.
Turning to the topic of growth, Lynch noted that despite being among the top three pizza chains in the country, Papa John's still has just half as many locations domestically as their larger competitors.
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Executive Decision: Etsy
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy (ETSY) - Get Etsy, Inc. Report, the online marketplace that just posted a 137% surge in revenues and topped analysts' earnings expectations. Shares of Etsy are up 195% for the year.
Silverman said there's a huge opportunity for Etsy in our post-COVID-19 world. He said Etsy has something for everyone and consumers can buy directly from the artisans making their items. That's how their platform has won over millions of consumers around the globe.
Etsy's strong results included huge surges in multiple categories, Silverman said, including home furnishings, jewelry and apparel, all categories that lost ground at traditional retailers. Etsy is also the place to go for masks, he said, with thousands of vendors offering personalized options that won't take supplies away from doctors and hospitals.
Silverman added that Etsy is also focused on being a good corporate citizen, with several initiatives surrounding diversity, inclusion and sustainability.
Executive Decision: Verizon
In a third "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO at Verizon (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report, the telco giant that's in Cramer's COVID-19 index.
Verizon has long been an innovator in the telecommunications industry and Vestberg said they're very excited about the coming 5G wireless revolution and advancements in edge computing. He explained that soon developers will be able to move their apps right to the edge of Verizon's 5G network, which will decrease the latency and make those apps faster than ever. Verizon's partnership with Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report Web Services will ultimately include 10 data centers across the U.S. and will be used by both business- and consumer-facing services.
Verizon has also partnered with Disney and is helping to bring Disney+ to more consumers across the country. Vestberg added that Verizon's own services, including Yahoo, will all soon take advantage of these next-generation services.
When asked whether Verizon was interested in acquiring TikTok, Vestberg noted that user-generated content is not a part of their portfolio and his company recently divested Tumblr to focus on their core strengths.
Off the Charts
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carolyn Boroden for an updated look on where the market might be headed next.
Boroden first used a weekly chart of the S&P 500 index and noted the continuing hurdle at 3,238. She felt if the S&P could overtake that level, it would rally to hit her original targets of 3,720 and possibly even 4,136.
Boroden's bullishness stemming from looking at the 5-day and 13-day exponential moving averages. When the 5-day is above the 13-day, that's a bullish signal. The reverse is a bearish one. Right now, these averages told her the rally remains intact, but Cramer advised taking some profits to be safe.
Turning to the Nasdaq 100, Boroden liked the trend here as well. She reiterated her 11,568 long-term target for the Nasdaq.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Thursday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in FB, AAPL, MSFT, CRM, DIS, AMZN.