Though it might seem counterintuitive, all the wrong stocks lead the rally on Thursday—and it made complete sense to Jim Cramer. With crude oil making its biggest one-day move since March 2009, it was strong enough to power a rally in the averages. Finally, commodities have a pulse!
So, how the heck can the market rally on higher oil? Cramer explained.
For ages any time Cramer saw mineral and mining stocks jump like they did on Thursday, he always assumed it was related to China. It made sense as the entire commodity bubble in the past decade stemmed from Chinese growth.
Lately, because of the declining growth in China, most investors had given up on commodities. So, does the rally in commodities mean they were premature in giving up on China? Maybe not.
"The strength in the commodity complex was capable of powering the vast bulk of this market higher, even stocks that should go lower when oil goes higher, because the commodity rally potentially eliminates some dastardly big bad event that we can't see or feel, but we know could be out there lurking," Cramer said.
It was a very nice breather and may have just taken big risk off the table.
Cramer recently had an investor ask him what biotechs, old pharmaceuticals and new pharma have to do with what is happening with China. And while the question may seem quite simple, it is actually incredibly complicated to answer.
"On the one hand, biotech and pharma should have nothing to do with China. But on the other hand, they are deeply intertwined. And that intersection is both treacherous and full of opportunity," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet This)
Cramer noted that the fortunes in biotech and big pharma have very little to do with the fortunes in China. Something is clearly very rotten in China, but it isn't so bad that it could actually hurt sales of a big company like Pfizer or Celgene. People will get sick, and they will still take medicine.
So, on the surface it may appear that any weakness in China shouldn't affect these stocks. But that is not correct, and Cramer is worried that many people are making that assumption right now as they put money to work in these stocks.
"I like to think of biotech stocks as black-double-diamond runs on the slopes: they're fabulous to ski on when the power is perfect and the sky is blue, but foolhardy to go down on when it's frozen, stormy and icy," Cramer said. (Tweet This)
Cramer has spent a huge chunk of his 36 years of investing doing the homework and investing in individual stocks. He has always felt that individual stocks would lead to profit on the market. But these days, that methodology seems to have been thrown out the window.
"That's because many of the largest pools of actively managed money, the hedge funds, the high-frequency traders and even the big mutual funds are not focused at this moment on individual stocks," the "Mad Money" host said.
What are they focused on? The Fed.
Big money has noticed that the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates low, perhaps lower than they should, in spite of data that could suggest otherwise. Data such as the strong 3.7 percent gross domestic product for the second quarter suggest that if the U.S. were in a vacuum, then it is time for the Fed to begin to raise rates.
However, after the big selloff this week Cramer has noticed massive change in thinking of the Fed and those fears of a rate hike have subsided. He has heard several portfolio managers say that they can handle a rate hike. In fact, many just want to get it over with already.
Thus, Cramer thinks that the rally on Thursday was not due to portfolio managers celebrating that there will never be a rate hike. Rather, it was a "in Fed we trust" rally to confirm that investors trust the decision that the Fed will make.
Now that the negativity seems to be subsiding from the marketplace, Cramer decided to circle back to companies that do well in the current environment. That includes stocks that are well off their highs still courtesy of the latest selloff.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is the fried chicken chain with about 2,420 franchised restaurants, mostly located in the U.S. The company had the misfortune of reporting on Wednesday last week, right in the middle of the decline.
Even though it reported a strong quarter, it was ignored and the stock was slammed along with everything else. Cramer speculated that this was exactly the right company to benefit from lower gasoline prices. Could it be time for the stock to fly higher?
To check in, Cramer spoke with Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder.
"We have just been killing it with our kitchen innovation. The most recent one we just finished up was Rippin' Chicken with spicy habanero sauce, it was killer good. This is the way we keep the excitement going in our restaurants," Bachelder said.
Another stock that has had a rough time lately is Chegg, a small-cap company that for a long time was a provider of rental textbooks for high school and college students. But as the academia trend transforms to digital, Chegg has been trying to adjust into a digital provider of various services to help students fight the higher cost of education in the U.S.
Beyond textbooks, the company now gives students access to online homework help, assistance with course, scheduling and tools that assist high school students decide where to go to college and how to get scholarships. It now has 700,000 digital subscribers and they also make money selling advertisements to schools and brand partners.
Can its efforts for digital transformation power the stock higher? To find out, Cramer spoke with Chegg's chairman and CEO, Daniel Rosensweig.
"This is textbook season, and then immediately following becomes our homework-help season, and our tutoring season, and then internship season, and then high school students getting into college season. So we have diversified the company so well that we've got a 365-day a year business instead of four days a year," Rosensweig said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Ross Stores: "I've got to say hold. Why? Because I did not like that last quarter versus TJX which had a much better quarter, or Ulta which reported tonight that I really like."
Mannkind Corp: "The proof is in the pudding. We haven't seen the big sales bump yet. If we see a big sales bump, then I think there is going to be time. But we haven't seen it yet."
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