Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Bears Overwhelmed

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It feels like the old days are back, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Wednesday. He said that after a weak open thanks to a sluggish Europe and China, the U.S. was once again in charge and able to buck the trend and send the markets higher. Yes indeed, Cramer said the U.S. is once again the center of the universe.

There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, Cramer said, not the least of which is nothing new coming out of Washington. That's led to confidence creeping back into the markets, which is never a bad thing. It may only last until January, but we'll take it where we can get it.

Then there is the drop in oil prices to its lowest point in two years. That's like a tax break for consumers and they have more disposable income as a result.

Interest rates are also a factor, Cramer noted, as the average 5-year bank CD still yields just 0.82%, but the 5-year Treasury has crept up to 1.4%, allowing the banks to make a lot more money on the new interest margin.

There are other things to like about the market as well. Now that the Twitter ( TWTR) IPO is over, many of the social media stocks are bouncing, like Facebook ( FB) and LinkedIn ( LNKD). And there's a ton of individual stock news, like upbeat guidance from Macy's ( M), the US Airways ( LCC) merger and the rally in Starbucks ( SBUX) after its settlement. Only in this market can writing a big check send your stock higher, Cramer quipped.

All of these factors are causing investors to flood back into stocks, Cramer concluded, so many in fact that the bears were simply overwhelmed today.

Executive Decision: Matt Roberts

In the first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Matt Roberts, president and CEO of OpenTable ( OPEN), a stock that's up 71% for the year and 36% since Cramer last spoke with Roberts just six months ago. OpenTable just delivered an eight-cent-a-share earnings beat on a 17% rise in revenues and a 28% increase in diners seated, news that popped shares up 12.4%.

Roberts said that overall, restaurant reservations have been flat this year, but that hasn't stopped OpenTable from growing by 28%, as only 15% of all reservations are currently made online. That leaves a lot of room for the company to grow, he said, and his company still has many other areas to conquer.

One of those areas is online payments, Roberts said, and OpenTable will have a pilot program online by the end of the year where guests can pay their bill through OpenTable. The company is also looking into adding more social aspects to its offerings, completing Cramer's trifecta of mobile, social and cloud services.

When asked why restaurants choose OpenTable, Roberts said it allows restaurants to maximize the value of every table, filling seats that otherwise would have been empty. Restaurant owners typically see $43 in revenue for every $1 they spend on OpenTable, a metric that keeps the company's churn rate at less than 1%.

Cramer said he is still a big fan of the OpenTable story, calling it one of the anointed stocks of 2013.

Executive Decision: David Novak

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with David Novak, chairman and chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands ( YUM), which reported a disappointing quarter a month ago but may be turning itself around in China and elsewhere in the world.

Novak said that his company is making steady progress in rebuilding its image in China and sales have been slowly getting better. He remained optimistic that Yum will make a full recovery.

Looking at the overall picture in China, Novak said that KFC was recently ranked the No. 1 consumer brand in China, which proves the brand's popularity. He said that Pizza Hut is also proving to be a power brand in China, giving his company two great franchises to grow in the region.

Turning toward the U.S., the bright spot for Yum included Taco Bell, where Novak said there's room to expand the company's 5,000 locations into 8,000. Taco Bell also continues to innovate with new products that offer great value, including new breakfast items, which could be another large growth opportunity for that chain.

When asked about his optimism in the face of adversity, Novak said that he believes companies do their best work during the toughest years, and Yum Brands is no exception.

Cramer said that Yum sounds like a company that is now OK.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Stratasys ( SSYS), Himax Technologies ( HIMX), St Jude Medical ( STJ), Andersons ( ANDE), Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD)and Ampio Pharmaceuticals ( AMPE).

Cramer was bearish on 3D Systems ( DDD), Union Pacific ( UNP) and Volcano Corporation ( VOLC).

Am I Diversified?

In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets. The first portfolio included Ford ( F), Pfizer ( PFE), General Electric ( GE), Coca-Cola ( KO) and U.S. Steel ( X).

Cramer said this portfolio was a picture of diversification and offered a good yield to boot.

The second portfolio's top holdings included Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI), Barrick Gold ( ABX), U.S. Steel ( X), Ford Motor ( F) and Facebook ( FB).

Cramer also blessed this portfolio as "perfectly" diversified.

The third portfolio had Boeing ( BA), Halliburton ( HAL), Precision Castparts ( PCP), Starbucks ( SBUX) and Noodles & Company ( NDLS) as its top five stocks.

Cramer identified a problem with Precision Castparts, which sells parts to Boeing, and recommended swapping it out with Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY).

The fourth portfolio's top stocks were Hanes Brands ( HCI), Alcatel Lucent ( ALU), Western Asset Mortgage Capital ( WMC), Sirona Dental Systems ( SIRO) and Fifth & Pacific ( FNP).

Cramer once again identified two-of-a-kind with apparel makers Hanes and Fifth & Pacific and advised selling Fifth and adding Bristol-Myers Squibb.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that having a long-term view on a stock is no excuse for overpaying. He said it's entirely possible to buy a good company at a bad price, which is what many individual investors did with the Twitter ( TWTR) IPO last week.

Cramer said he doesn't agree with IAC Interactive ( IAC) CEO Barry Diller, who posited that investors paid up for Twitter hoping to flip it for more later that day. In reality, Cramer said many small investors bought into Twitter for the long term, just not realizing that the $46 share price was far too rich for the stock, no matter what your time horizon.

Twitter, like many recent IPOs, was a sliver deal, Cramer explained, with only a small number of shares being offered, knowing full well that big mutual funds would need to pay up to complete their positions. Twitter could have offered two to three times as many shares, Cramer noted, and still seen a pop on their first day. But instead, Twitter rewarded the dozen or so institutions that were able to get in on the IPO itself, and the rest of the investors simply paid too much.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS was long FB and YUM.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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