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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- China is more important than we are, according to Jim Cramer. He told "Mad Money" viewers Thursday that positive news out of China was all it took to lift our slumping markets. Today's upward move in the big-cap industrials and tech stocks could not be traced to anything positive happening here in the U.S., but were caused by a rise in Chinese purchasing, which took the markets by surprise. Everything from Caterpillar ( CAT) to Fedex ( FDX) to Joy Global ( JOY) was on the move as a result. The markets move on expectations, Cramer continued, and there have been three in control as of late. The first is that the U.S. economy is struggling, but holding its own. Second is that Europe remains a disaster. Third, that China is a disappointment. It's the change in the latter the markets were responding to, said Cramer, as China posted some of its strongest economic numbers for the year. That one data point from China was even able to lift stocks like Nike ( NKE), which sells big into China, as well as Eaton ( ETN), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Charting a CourseIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Sam Thomas, chairman, president and CEO of Chart Industries ( GTLS), a natural gas liquids company with shares up 20% for the year but which also just reported an earnings miss of 8 cents a share. Thomas said our country will be better off using domestic natural gas as a surface vehicle fuel, but so far the timing has been taking longer than expected. He said it's been a complex process to provide both a supply of natural gas as well as the demand for it at the same time. "The chickens and the eggs are ready to do their parts," joked Thomas, but it certainly will take longer than one or two years to get both natural gas trucks on the road and stations to refuel them.
Thomas also commented on his company's other quarterly disappointment, its biomedical products division. He said that while Chart Industries anticipated consolidation in the industry, the pullback in demand was more than expected. Once that consolidation is completed, however, Thomas sees that business improving. In closing, Thomas said Chart remains a great growth story and will be a key supplier in a rapidly growing industry. However, it has been difficult to predict exactly when that will occur.
Stick With RetailGloom is not a strategy, it's a feeling, Cramer reminded viewers, and he sounded off against the countless hedge fund managers betting against the retail sector. Cramer said these big money managers never take the time to determine what might actually be going on in retail. Instead, they take their cues from the weak results of the weaker players, then extrapolate that the entire group must be bad. That's why so many funds were shorting PVH Corp ( PVH), said Cramer, and why the stock was able to pop 20% on the news of its Warnaco ( WRC) acquisition Wednesday. The American consumer is alive and well, noted Cramer, despite the continued weak employment in our country. That's why investors need to stick with the strong retail companies, those that can execute and deliver on earnings and not just assume that as goes one, so go they all.
Lightning RoundIn the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Dunkin Brands ( DNKN), Yahoo! ( YHOO), Bio-Reference Laboratories ( BRLI), SuperValu ( SVU), Cooper Companies ( COO), Allergan ( AGN), M&T Bank ( MTB), BorgWarner ( BWA) and Discover Financial Services ( DFS). Cramer was bearish on Netflix ( NFLX) and Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK).
Executive DecisionIn his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with David Henry, president and CEO of Kimco Realty ( KIM), a shopping center REIT with a 3.9% yield. Kimco just delivered an earnings beat of four cents a share on a 7% rise in revenue while also delivering upside guidance. Henry was optimistic on Kimco's outlook, saying occupancy rates are on the rise at most centers, even for smaller chains and merchants. He also noted that Kimco has divested itself of many of its non-shopping center assets, making it a pure play on shopping with just 3% of its portfolio now in other areas.
Kimco, like most REITs, is constantly working to upgrade its portfolio of properties. He said the company is always looking to sell properties in secondary markets or those with low-quality tenants and purchase better properties with higher-paying tenants. When asked about the grocery sector, a segment that's been under pressure by Whole Foods ( WFM) and others, Henry said Kimco is concerned about the group, which operates under razor thin margins. He said that Kimco always takes a hard look at its grocery store anchors. Cramer remained bullish on Kimco, saying it offers both growth and dividends.