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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The clouds that were on the horizon in 2013 look like they're almost upon us now, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday. Ignoring the weather is always a foolish thing to do.
Cramer said he's often asked what keeps him up at night. Currently, that list includes:
1. Washington. Things may be quiet in Washington at the moment, but with more budget wrangling and elections not far off this calm won't last for long.
2. China. We haven't seen any positive numbers coming out of China and the global economy can't afford another Chinese slowdown.
3. Oil Prices. Lower oil prices are great for consumers and the economy in the long term, but for right now they're sending all of the oil stocks sharply lower.
5. Real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships. These stocks are still overreacting to the downside as interest rates creep higher.
Cramer said all of these items are on his radar and will eventually play a bigger part in which direction the markets are heading.
Executive Decision: Klaus Kleinfeld
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa (AA), the company Cramer says provides the best read on the global economy in its conference calls.
Kleinfeld started off by noting that his company's overseas bribery scandal is finally behind it and he's looking forward to continuing with Alcoa's transformation. To that end, he said both Alcoa's commodity and value-add businesses continue to grow.
While Alcoa can't control the metal prices, Kleinfeld said Alcoa has been aggressive in cutting costs and making its commodity business as profitable as it can be. Meanwhile, the value-add businesses continue to innovate and drive growth for the company.
When asked about specific industries, Kleinfeld said that aerospace is doing very well, with lots of demand from Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Autos are also looking good, with North America continuing to grow.
Kleinfeld was also bullish on the construction market, noting that all signs are pointing in the right direction for a pickup in commercial construction. The only weak spot was China, where Kleinfeld admitted the country is slowing but overall still remains at a very healthy growth rate.
Cramer said that thanks to Kleinfeld's insights, it's clear that the read on the global economy isn't as easy to decipher as he would like.
A Tale of Two IPOs
1. Multi-Year Growth. The Container Store plans to expand from 63 to over 300 stores, while the online Zulily could grow its 2.6 million active customers to over 5.8 million over the next few years.
2. Addressable Market. Cramer said Container has nothing to get excited about but Zulily could be huge.
3. Competition. Cramer said Container has competition but Zulily doesn't have a lot at all.
4. Use of Cash. Cramer noted that both companies are in growth mode, using all their cash to expand.
5. International. Container is a regional to national story but Zulily already has a small overseas presence.
6. Balance Sheet. Cramer said while Container is cleaning its up, Zulily's is pristine.
7. Valuation. Cramer said both companies are about equally valued.
8. Management. Cramer said he's a believer in both management teams.
9. Cyclical? Cramer said Container will fall victim to a recession but Zulily will probably fare well.
10. Margins. Gross margins are expanding at both companies.
Adding all these items together, Cramer concluded that Zulily is still worth owning, but The Container Store is in the penalty box for missing its first quarter as a public company.
Executive Decision: Frank Sullivan
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Frank Sullivan, chairman and CEO of RPM International (RPM), home to such brands as Rustoleum and DAP paint products. RPM just delivered a three-cents-a-share earnings beat on strong margins.
Sullivan said investors who invested in RPM just 10 years ago now have a stock that has risen from the teens to $42 a share as well as a combined 7.5% dividend yield over that time period.
RPM is focused on innovation, said Sullivan, no matter if it comes internally or is licensed or acquired. That's why his company is full of new, game-changing products.
One such product is called Tuf-Strand, a patented Teflon fiber that can replace 300 pounds of rebar in concrete with just three to five pounds of fibers. Tuf-Strand is not only lighter and more cost efficient, said Sullivan, but also saves contractors time and could revolutionize concrete.
When asked about the American consumer, Sullivan said Americans now feel more secure in their jobs and homes and that means they're once again investing in their homes. As a leader in small painting projects, Sullivan said this trend bodes well for his company.
Cramer said that RPM remains an excellent choice for investors.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer scratched his head trying to figure out how Macy's (M) could deliver such strong results while other retailers, such as the usually consistent Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), fared so poorly.
Cramer said Macy's results seems too good to be true until you consider all of the restructuring initiatives Macy's has put into place. The company's MyMacy's local buying program, coupled with its omni-channel presence and other cost-cutting efforts, are paying off in spades, while Bed Bath & Beyond now seems to struggle against online competition -- news that sent its shares tumbling over 12%.
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