After a dismal Friday, today saw exuberance in the stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. That means it's time to look at your portfolio and put any stock that didn't go up today under close scrutiny.
So how did stocks go from zero to hero in just two days? Cramer said investors' biggest fear on Friday was that China would retaliate in response to President Trump's tariffs with tariffs of their own on Apple (AAPL) , Intel (INTC) and Boeing (BA) .
But those fears cooled over the weekend after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin indicated that trade talks with China were progressing. This single action showed investors that there might really be a plan after all when it comes to trade, which was enough to turn the mood on Wall Street from horrible to hopeful. Shares of Apple, Intel and Boeing closed up 4.7%, 6.3% and 2.4% respectively.
Stocks have indeed turned a corner, Cramer said, as even Facebook (FB) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding and one of the most hated stocks of the past week, was able to find its footing. Cramer again advocated that Facebook hire an outside investigator to get to the bottom of the data scandal and make recommendations to fix it, a move he said would send the stock up a quick $10 a share.
Cramer and the AAP team are raising cash into this market upsurge by trimming shares in Citigroup (C) , Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) . Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Wendy's
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Todd Penegor, CEO of Wendy's (WEN) , a turnaround story that's been years in the making.
Penegor explained that Wendy's continues to grow by leveraging its strengths. First is their message of freshness. While rivals like McDonald's (MCD) are just exploring the idea of fresh beef, Wendy's has been fresh, not frozen, since 1969.
Next, Wendy's is connecting with the next generation of consumers. The company has 2.5 million followers on Twitter (TWTR) and just released a new mix tape of music that's trending at No. 3 on the hip-hop charts, according to Penegor.
Wendy's is also about leveraging technology to provide unparalleled convenience, which means dine-in, take-out and yes, delivery, where the company has partnered with Door Dash to provide delivery services at 20% of their locations. Penegor said that french fries and Frosties top the list of most desired delivery items.
While their original estimates have slowed a bit, Penegor confirmed that the company is still on track for 7,500 locations by 2021.
The Commodity We Love to Hate
Of all the commodities traded on Wall Street, there's one that's especially hated, Cramer warned viewers, and that commodity is natural gas. What was once seen as a bridge fuel to a renewable future is now public enemy No. 1.
Like oil, the price of natural gas peaked in 2014 before entering a two-year decline that bottomed in 2016. But unlike oil, which has since rallied to over $60 a barrel, natural gas continues to bounce along the bottom. Even a bitterly cold winter in the Northeast and a booming economy has been able to spark natural gas, and investors are fleeing the entire industry, from producers to transportation to storage and everything connected to it.
What's behind the sudden reversal of fortunes? The culprit lies in a backlash by state regulators, Cramer said, as more and more states are abandoning gas in favor of renewables. That's especially true in California, which hopes to have 50% of its energy stem from renewables -- a number that means aggressively decommissioning existing natural gas facilities.
"This wasn't supposed to happen," Cramer explained. Natural gas was promised to be the bridge fuel that ushered in renewables decades from now. Collateral damage was not part of that story.
But there's also the supply side of the story hurting natural gas, as the U.S. is set to see its biggest increase in natural gas production ever this year.
Cramer said there's simply no place to hide in the natural gas sector, as even the LNG exporters have been weak. He wouldn't speculate on any of them making a meaningful recovery.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that as long as there's no systemic risk in the market, there's money to be made in being nimble and going where others fear to tread.
Cramer explained with the proliferation of exchange traded funds, or ETFs, the markets are far more susceptible to wild swings like those we saw in February as traders unsuccessfully bet on the VIX volatility index. The chaos in the VIX caused the entire market to plunge, but under it all, there was nothing wrong with the individual companies.
That's when investors need to see the forest through the trees and step up to buy when everyone else is selling. That's where the real opportunities will be, Cramer concluded.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says you just can't sweat ETF-selling. Get more of Cramer's insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Paychex
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again checked in with Marty Mucci, president and CEO of payroll processor Paychex (PAYX) , which today announced in-line earnings with a 9% rise in revenues. Shares of Paychex fell 0.8% by the close.
Mucci said that Paychex has a solid quarter. There were some one-time charges related to tax reforms, he noted, and they had previously announced that about half of the gains from tax reforms would be used to invest in the business to generate more revenues.
Outside of tax reforms, Mucci said that interest rates are rising, which is good for Paychex, and there's a steady, sustainable state of new business formation and job growth across the country. While there is some wage inflation, Mucci explained that he's not worried about inflation getting out of control.
When asked about their dividend, Mucci said that Paychex remains committed to their dividend yield, which is the highest in the industry.
Cramer said Paychex was too good of a story to leave.
Cramer was bearish on Century Aluminum (CENX) .
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