We now have a demand-driven stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. That means the stocks you're going to want to buy will be those that have to spend to meet major demand.
That was certainly the case with Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) , which today announced it will be creating 100,000 new jobs over the next 18 months -- in the U.S. -- just to keep up with growing demand. In response, shares jumped another 1.8% by the close.
Cramer said a demand economy is nothing new, but it is something we haven't seen for years. In a slowing economy, like we had last year, investors clamored for big dividends and stock buybacks more than revenue growth and rewarded companies that were able to boost margins by cost cutting and layoffs.
But Amazon doesn't have a dividend, nor a buyback, and it's certainly not cutting costs. It's increasing spending big time and has been for years.
Amazon is not the only one experiencing growth, Cramer added, as Delta Air Lines (DAL - Get Report) and KB Homes (KBH - Get Report) also told investors things have been picking up since the election in November.
A Change of Plans
When the facts change, you need to change with them, Cramer told viewers. That was unfortunately not the case with oil driller Helmerich & Payne (HP - Get Report) , which saw a total of four analyst downgrades in December, right as the oil market was beginning to recover.
Cramer reminded viewers that no one ever made a dime panicking, yet that seems to be what the analysts were doing as oil prices plunged. By the time the analysts made their calls however, OPEC had already reached a deal to cut production. In addition, the U.S. oil rig count was rising and we had already elected a pro-fossil-fuel president.
When it comes to drilling oil wells on land, Helmerich & Payne is about as good as it gets, Cramer said, and with a 3.5% dividend yield to boot, this oil driller is a winner.
For years, auto parts were the place to be, Cramer explained, as Americans were keeping their cars longer in a stalled economy. All three major players -- Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone (AZO) and O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY - Get Report) -- prospered until about 2015, when Advance Auto stalled.
But then in 2016, the company caught the eye of an activist investor that not only turned the company around, but now may be looking for a lucrative exit strategy.
Cramer reiterated that he never recommends a stock on takeover speculation unless the underlying fundamentals are solid, as is the case with Advance Auto. Shares have rallied 27% since the election thanks to the company's first earnings beat in ages. Even at current levels, shares still trade at 19 times earnings.
When it comes to retail, scale matters, which is why Cramer said a number of possible bidders could emerge for Advance Auto. The company has a clean balance sheet, growing sales and operates in a category that isn't easily commandeered by Amazon.
Renewed Focus on Job Creation
Love Donald Trump or hate him, Cramer said, but it's hard to dispute that the president-elect's No. 1 priority seems to be protecting and creating American jobs. It's also hard to argue that Trump's plans for lower corporate taxes, repatriation of overseas funds and deregulation -- along with a sizable infrastructure package -- seem to be what markets want to hear.
Cramer called today's hiring announcement by Amazon "inspiring" and one that can only help bolster the already rising optimism in our country.
Meanwhile, those CEOs on the receiving end of Trump's tweets can only feel the opposite, which is why just about every one of them has capitulated to some degree.
Will Trump ultimately succeed in his goals? Only time will tell. But Cramer said the renewed focus on jobs has got to make investors feel better about the stock market.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on American Tower (AMT - Get Report) , Hasbro (HAS - Get Report) , Barclays (BCS) , Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) and E*TRADE Financial (ETFC - Get Report) .
Cramer was bearish on Visteon (VC - Get Report) , Mattel (MAT - Get Report) , Banco Santander (SAN) , ProLogis (PLD - Get Report) , Franklin Resources (BEN - Get Report) and Kinder Morgan (KMI - Get Report) .
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 Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) , Carnival Cruises (CCL - Get Report) , Honeywell (HON - Get Report) , Nordic American Tanker (NAT - Get Report) and Triton International (TRTN - Get Report) .
The second portfolio's top holdings included Adobe Systems (ADBE - Get Report) , Arconic (ARNC - Get Report) , Blackstone (BX - Get Report) , Key Corp (KEY - Get Report) and Paychex (PAYX - Get Report) .
Cramer blessed this portfolio as diversified, but warned that Trump could take aim at firms like Blackstone with new tax laws.
The final portfolio had Enterprise Product Partners (EPD - Get Report) , Novo Nordisk (NVO - Get Report) , Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) , Raytheon (RTN - Get Report) and Dow Chemical (DOW) as its top five stocks.
Cramer said he's not a fan of Novo Nordisk, but the rest of this portfolio is diversified.
Read -- for free -- what Cramer is telling his investment club members: Buy stocks that Trump is slamming on Twitter.
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