Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Strong Economy, Everybody Wins

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Over the long run, everyone benefits from a stronger economy, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers in a special, on location episode of his "Invest in America" series, this time from the Starbucks (SBUX) annual meeting in Seattle.

Cramer said that yes, some investors told on today's news that the Federal Reserve may, sometime next year, begin raising interest rate. For these investors, higher rates equals sell no matter what.

But despite being jarring for the markets in the short term, Cramer explained that over the long term, a stronger economy equals more sales and more sales translates into more profits and bigger returns for investors. "Everyone benefits from more hiring," he continued.

Cramer told investors that they shouldn't want the status quo, a rally propped up by low rates -- they should welcome an improving economy. Higher interest rates are just a cost of doing business, after all.

That's why Cramer said he'd use today's selloff, and any that follows, to pick among the rubble for beaten-down banks and other companies that will thrive as the U.S. economy finally recovers.

Executive Decision: Howard Schultz

For his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks, for an update on the company and its prospects.

Schultz commented on today's announcement of a partnership with Oprah Winfrey that will include Oprah-branded chai in time for Mother's Day. He said Oprah will be a big driver for Teavana and Starbucks.

Schultz also commented on his company's growth in China, noting that in the long term China will become Starbucks' second-largest market with 4,000 to 5,000 locations. In the short term, however, Starbucks is focused on home and will be accelerating growth in the U.S.

Another hot area for the company is mobile payments, a product Schultz said is highly valuable both inside and outside of Starbucks. He said the opportunities of this product and category are currently being explored.

Finally, Schultz said that with some many exciting opportunities, from coffee and tea to juices, pastries and packaged goods, the Starbucks in the future will see a larger footprint that offers a lot more to its customers.

Executive Decision: Blake Nordstrom

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom (JWN), the venerable retailer.

Nordstrom said his company has always been grounded in the customer and allows them to shop on their own terms, whether that's through a Nordstrom store, a Nordstrom Rack, via ecommerce or off-price location.

Nordstrom has spent $2.2 billion over the past five years in capital expenditures, but that figure is expected to rise to $3.9 billion over the next five years with over $1.2 billion of that total earmarked for technology improvements and innovation.

When asked about the elephant in the room, Amazon.com (AMZN), which is headquartered across the street from the Starbucks meeting, Nordstrom said Amazon offers customers what they want -- a great experience. Nordstrom hopes to do the same with a great Web site, a great supply chain and terrific personal service.

Nordstrom continued that brick-and-mortar stores and malls aren't going away, but companies will need to execute in order to drive loyalty and give customers a reason to shop.

Finally, when asked about the weather, Nordstrom admitted the company has never had so many stores closed as happened this winter. That business is lost, Nordstrom said, but the company hopes to make it up soon.

Executive Decision: Spencer Rascoff

Continuing his "Executive Decision" segments, Cramer welcomed Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow (Z), the online realty marketplace.

Rascoff said that while mortgage rates are on the rise and are cooling the housing market somewhat, they're still at historic lows and there is still a backlog of buyer interest.

Turning to the topic of affordability, Rascoff said prices rebounded quickly off the bottom and are currently up 6% year over year.

When asked about Zillow's revenue model, Rascoff explained that real estate shopping transitioned from offline to online, then from online to mobile. Advertisers follow the audience, he said, and Zillow offers 70 million people.

Rascoff defended Zillow's policy of not interfering with agent and lender reviews on its Web site, saying that Zillow's job is to empower the user and sometimes that means bad reviews get posted.

Executive Decision: Clay Siegall

In still another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Clay Siegall, chairman, president and CEO of Seattle Genetics (SGEN), a stock that's up 110% since Cramer last spoke with Siegall in December 2012.

Siegall said that, first and foremost, Seattle Genetics is a drug company that helps cancer patients. However, his company also has a second part to its business that licenses its technology. Sales for 2013 totaled $250 million globally, he said, while license payments also brought in $250 million.

Siegall said that while the company's primary cancer drug continues to sell well in 39 countries, Seattle Genetics also has other exciting drugs in testing -- two for lymphoma and another for breast cancer.

Cramer said for investors not willing to take risks on hot biotech IPOs, Seattle Genetics is a great way to play the sector without all the risks.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that all of his interviews today had one thing in common -- technology.

Technology is expected from a company like Seattle Genetics, Cramer said, but even companies like Nordstrom are spending big in technology to compete with Amazon, while Starbucks has embraced digital and mobile to help serve customers better and faster.

Companies like Zillow may be outright tech companies, but every successful company needs to be a "stealth" tech company if they expect to survive.

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 had no positions in stocks mentioned.

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