Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: The Market's New Reality

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Why isn't there more selling in the market? That was the question Jim Cramer posited to his Mad Money viewers Wednesday.

His answer? Because too many bad things just aren't happening.

In a rare case of "everything that can go wrong just isn't," Cramer said the markets are simply adapting to the new realities and are focusing on the positive instead of the negative.

Cramer noted the markets have lived in fear for years that when the Federal Reserve began tapering its bond buying program the market would collapse. Yet, now that tapering has begun interest rates are heading lower, not higher.

Then there are the earnings. Everyone has been expecting bad news -- yet, report after report, companies like Facebook (FB) and Apple (AAPL), stocks Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, have surprised to the upside.

Cramer said where there is weakness in the markets, there's no longer any negative "pin action" taking the entire market with it. Some sectors, like the transports, oils and retail, have shown surprising strength of late.

Even the deadly initial public offering market has been tapering, allowing demand to catch up with torrent of new offerings. Cramer said that IPO tapering, plus rising corporate dividends, are all helping to send the markets higher because all of the bad things we've all been fretting about are turning out to be no big deal after all.

Unlocking Value

Sometimes companies need a little prodding to unlock value, Cramer told viewers, and there's no better way to light a fire under management than with an activist investor.

Cramer said that he's a fan of anything that legally moves stocks higher. Activist investors including Bill Ackman, Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn all have great track records for spurring companies to do the right thing and unlock value for their shareholders -- whether that's by making acquisitions, breaking up or simply returning more capital to shareholders via dividends or stock buyback programs.

Cramer said he remains critical of Bill Ackman's and Valeant Pharmaceuticals' (VRX) proposed bid for Allergan (AGN), as he fears Valeant will destroy the rich research and development program for which Allergan is known. But, he said, there's no denying the deal has been a huge win for Allergan shareholders thus far.

Whether it's Mondelez (MDLZ), Pepsico (PEP), Ingersoll Rand (IR) or, more recently, Carl Icahn's public battle with Apple, Cramer said that in the end countless companies and their shareholders have been helped by these activists.

What's Up With Micron?

What's happening with Micron Technologies (MU)? Cramer said this memory chip supplier has followed the same pattern for decades. When supply is tight the stock roars, but when excess manufacturing capacity comes online the stock gets crushed.

But with Micron now up 20% for the year, this time things might be different.

Cramer said this time the analysts are sticking by Micron, with 19 buy recommendations, 11 holds and only four sells. Why the change? In a word, consolidation. Cramer said there are only three major players left in the DRAM market, which still accounts for 70% of Micron's sales. With the steep decline in PC sales finally moderating, there's a good chance that Micron can increase its margins.

Then there's Micron's NAND flash business, which makes the memory needed for smartphones and mobile devices. Here, Micron is the third-largest player in a rapidly expanding market.

That's why Cramer said he's willing to bless Micron for speculation only because the stock is still not for the faint of heart. This time, he concluded, the rally in Micron may last a lot longer than usual.

Executive Decision: Chuck Bunch

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Chuck Bunch, chairman and CEO of PPG (PPG), the chemicals and coatings maker that just delivered a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 17% rise in revenue along with a $2 billion stock buyback program and a 10% hike in the company's dividend. Shares of PPG are up 400% since Cramer first spoke with Bunch in June 2009.

Bunch painted a positive picture of PPG, saying that volumes in Europe were up for the first time in 10 quarters. He said PPG is seeing a broad-based recovery in Europe that includes a lot more than just automotive sales.

When asked about this year's harsh winter, Bunch said the weather did affect the construction industry here in the U.S., but PPG is not using that as an excuse. He said PPG's automotive refinishing business actually does better when there's harsh conditions.

Turning to the issue of rising commodity costs, Bunch said PPG was able to put through small price increases in some segments, which helped to offset the cost of inflation.

Cramer said PPG remains a stock that's going higher and he'd use any market weakness as a buying opportunity.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on M&T Bank (MTB), EOG Resources (EOG), PerkinElmer (PKI) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Cramer was bearish on Under Armour (UA), Exco Resources (XCO), Novavax (NVAX) and SVB Financial Group (SIVB).

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Dan Fitzpatrick over the chart of the industrial sector, using the Industrial Select SPDR ETF (XLI) as their guide.

Fitzpatrick noted that the industrials exchange-traded fund has been inside a strong uptrend since early 2013 when its Bollinger bands, a measure of volatility, narrowed, a pattern that often precedes a strong uptrend. Fitzpatrick saw the industrials' current squeeze as continued good news because the sector is building a base for its next leg higher.

But as Cramer often advocates, why own an ETF, which includes the good and the bad stocks in a sector, when you can buy just the good stocks? That's why Fitzpatrick recommended United Rentals (URI), which has also seen a strong chart with regular pullbacks to its 50-day moving average that precede strong rallies. Fitzpatrick also liked Tyco (TYC), which demonstrated a similar pattern.

Cramer said he remains a fan of United Rentals but would not be a buyer of Tyco until he sees the company's latest quarterly results.

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 positions in AAPL and FB.

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