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What's driving the stocks that are working in this market? In a word, demand, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. If a company's products are in demand, so too will be the demand for shares of its stock.
Case in point, Boeing (BA) , a stock that had been lost in the wilderness but was found after the company reported strong demand that sent shares up a quick 4.6% on the day. Likewise with content delivery network Akamai (AKAM) , shares of which jumped 14.6% on that company's strong earnings.
There's strong demand for defense around the globe, Cramer said, and that was good news for Northrop Grumman (NOC) , which delivered knockout earnings and shares rose 3.8%. As viewers learned last night from KeyCorp (KEY) , there's also demand for money from regional banks.
Those companies without demand included Edwards Lifesciences (EW) , which plummeted more than 17% on the day as the company failed to impress Wall Street's growing expectations. Meanwhile, the airlines also disappointed, with Southwest Airlines (LUV) dipping 8.4% on a weak forecast.
Cramer said the battle in athletic apparel make it hard to own either Nike (NKE) or Under Armour (UA) , but it does make it easy to pick up some Foot Locker (FL) , which sells both company's products.
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with James Squires, chairman, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern (NSC) , the railroad that just reported a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat with inline revenues.
Squires said that despite shrinking cargo volumes, Norfolk Southern was still able to deliver on earnings thanks to a focus on cost efficiencies, with this quarter representing their best cost ratio for the year. He said that rail continues to provide a special value proposition for many types of cargo and is competitive with trucks in many markets.
When asked about shrinking coal volumes, Squires said that he sees coal as having a permanent place in America's energy matrix and expects to be shipping coal at some level for years to come.
Squires was quick to mention that when it comes to being environmentally friendly, rail continues to be the most efficient way to move a ton of cargo.
Cramer said that with Norfolk Southern posting good earnings with only OK cargo volumes, imagine what the company could do with improving volumes.