A couple of days every year, the stock market is held hostage by the Federal Reserve, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. But today, the Fed set us free by releasing the most predictable and least surprising statement they possibly could.
The Fed could have thrown the market into a tailspin by not doing anything, Cramer said, or by raising interest rates by 50 basis points instead of 25. But they did exactly what everyone was expecting them to do, which allowed money to flow into stocks and the markets to rally.
Cramer said the fundamentals of our economy remain strong, as he's talked to many CEOs of companies that deal with everything from stone and concrete to steel and beyond -- and they all confirm that orders are up.
That's why the Fed acted in a thoughtful, rational way. They were simply doing what they're supposed to do in this situation.
Meanwhile, on Real Money, Cramer explains why this is a market worth buying into at these rates. Check out his pithy analysis with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Investing For Your Health
Treating diabetes is going to be huge story for years to come, Cramer told viewers, and there multiple ways to invest in it. He highlighted his favorite three companies in this space: Dexcom (DXCM) , Inculet (PODD) and Eli Lilly (LLY) .
Cramer has been recommending Dexcom for six years and the stock is already up nearly 500%. The company's wireless glucose monitoring systems are a huge step forward from needle pricks and Dexcom recently received approval for Medicare reimbursement, making it the only device to have such coverage. While Dexcom is not yet profitable, Cramer said the company does have a solid balance sheet to carry itself forward.
Inculet makes insulin management systems which help patients who tend to forget to take their insulin. Sales were up 25% last year, but the company is also not profitable, which makes it more speculative than Dexcom.
Cramer said that Eli Lilly is anything but speculative, as this big pharma name has long-acting insulin and other diabetes drugs, along with a robust pipeline of drugs in the works. The only problem with Eli Lilly, Cramer said, is that it trades at 21 times earnings, which is pricey compared to other drugmakers, such as Allergan (AGN) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding that trades at just 15 times earnings. Cramer said he'd buy Lilly on any weakness.
Keep an Eye on the Insiders
When a trusted CEO buys shares of his own company's stock, investors should take notice, Cramer told viewers, but what should we make of Elon Musk's purchase of $25 million worth of Tesla (TSLA) or Jack Dorsey's seven-million-share purchase of Twitter (TWTR) ?
Cramer reminded viewers that insiders sell for a myriad of reasons, including for tax and estate planning reasons. But when these executives buy shares, it's usually only for one reason. They think those shares are going higher.
That was certainly the case when Brent Saunders bought $1 million worth of Allergen on Nov. 21. Those shares are up a quick 27% since that buy. Share of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are up over 70% since CEO Jamie Dimon made his $26.6 million purchase 13 months ago. And in what Cramer called "the best-called shot of all time," Steve Wynn's December 2015 purchase of one million shares of Wynn Resorts (WYNN) was impeccably timed.
So what should investors make of Dorsey, a rich part-time CEO, or of Musk, the master showman? Cramer said there's a lot more that could go wrong with either of these companies, but it's certainly worth noting their CEO's convictions.
Executive Decision: Cullen/Frost Bankers
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Phillip Green, chairman and CEO at Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) , the Texas-based regional bank that's more than 150 years old.
Green said his bank has always been about building long-term relationships. While some people see Cullen/Frost as making energy loans, he sees it as loaning to people in the energy business.
When asked about the weakness in the company stock, Green said that investors have underestimated the strength and diversity of the Texas economy. He said they also discount their customers' ability and willingness to deleverage during downturns. When you deal in relationships and not transactions, you can help your customers thrive in any environment, he said.
Turning to the topic of interest rates, Green said the last rate hike didn't do much to increase deposit rates, but it did translate into 20 cents a share in earnings for Cullen/Frost. He expects future rate hikes to also have positive impacts.
And when asked about what he's hearing from customers, Green said that the attitude has been markedly better since the election and there is clear momentum growing.
When it comes to technology, winners don't often keep winning, Cramer noted, which is why its so rare that FANG continues to endure.
When it comes to online advertising dollars, no one beats Facebook or Google. Amazon continues to expand its dominance worldwide because people that are increasingly staying at home tend to order more things. Meanwhile, Netflix -- an underrated but apparently unstoppable company -- also continues to defy the skeptics.
Perhaps that's what binds these companies together, Cramer concluded -- the endless skepticism. But in the end, these four company aren't as good as they were four years ago. They're better.
Cramer and the AAP team say that while economic developments are generally unpredictable, the Fed expects three gradual hikes are forthcoming. Find out what they're telling their investment club members with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
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