NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Winning money managers know how to quit when they are ahead, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday. He said the weakness in many of the market's top stocks was nothing more than hedge funds and money managers locking in their gains after the best quarter we've seen in 14 years. Cramer recalled how he first learned about locking in gains: It was back in early 1991, as the first Iraq war was about to get started. He said that his hedge fund had already picked out the stocks that would rocket higher if the war would end quickly. So as the bombers were readied, Cramer went all in on those stocks, using all of the money and leverage he could muster. Five days later, when the war ended in spectacular fashion and stocks soared, Cramer said his hedge fund was up 28%, a year's worth of gains. Taking the advice of his wife, Cramer said he sold everything and only dabbled in the markets thereafter, taking the entire summer off. Cramer explained that the same thing is happening now, after 2012's terrific first quarter. He said the only real movers were stocks betting on interest rate cuts in China. Those stocks, like Joy Global ( JOY), Caterpillar ( CAT) and Cummins ( CMI), all opened lower only to turn higher by the end of the day. Everything else, however, and especially the market leaders like Apple ( AAPL), a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust
Tech TalkIf "big data" is the future of technology, then investors better sit up and pay attention, Cramer told viewers. What exactly is big data? Think of it as the huge piles of digital records being amassed daily by companies, organizations, search engines and social networks. As more and more information is being stored online, its possible uses -- for everything from marketing to crime prevention -- grows exponentially.
Mad TweetsIn the "Mad Tweets" segment, Cramer responded to questions sent via Twitter to @JimCramer. When asked whether now's the time to buy into the cruise lines, mainly Royal Carribean ( RCL) and Carnival Cruises ( CCL), Cramer gave a resounding "Yes!" Cramer said that the cruise stocks have been under immense pressure since Carnival's ship ran aground off the coast of Italy last year. That accident was a disaster for not only Carnival and its reputation but also for the entire cruise industry as many travelers opted to stay away and vacation elsewhere. But now the worst may be over, said Cramer, as he released the group from his "Sell Block" by saying that Carnival may now be worth buying. When it comes to the cruise lines, there's a happy duopoly, explained Cramer, with Carnival and Royal commanding 75% of the market. This two-horse race makes Carnival, whose shares are down 2% for the year, attractive, given its 3.1% dividend and its opportunities for a comeback.
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Marty Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex ( PAYX), a payroll processor with a 4% yield. Paychex delivered an inline quarter and reaffirmed 2012 guidance. Mucci said that he felt good about the quarter and where Paychex is headed, but remained conservative on the company's conference call. The said sales were up in the quarter, but new business formation remained flat, causing Paychex to make up lost revenue in other areas. Some of those new areas include acquisitions, said Mucci, an area where the company's strategy remains "flexible." Mucci also noted that Paychex is rolling out new products internally, including new online offerings as well as apps for smartphones and the iPad. When asked whether increased regulations and uncertainty regarding health care costs are hurting Paychex, Mucci said that while consumer confidence is the primary driver in new business creation, increased regulations certainty don't help the situation. On the other hand, Mucci noted that increased regulations do drive smaller companies to outsource their payroll to the experts that can help them navigate through it. Regarding the fate of Obama-care, Mucci said that Paychex has backup plans to deal with any outcome and will continue to help businesses large and small make the right choices for their organizations. Cramer remained bullish on Paychex, especially given its 4% yield and prospects for growth as the economy improves.