As the market continued its best five-day winning streak of the year on Thursday, Jim Cramer decided to dig a little deeper to what could be fueling the economy. Are consumers finally spending some of that money they have been saving at the gas pump?
"For the longest time, far longer than we thought, the savings from cheaper gasoline simply stayed in the pockets of the consumer," the "Mad Money" host said.
A few quarters ago, Visa conducted research that indicated consumers either had not altered their behavior in response to lower gas prices, or they did not believe that the prices would last.
That all changed on Thursday morning when CNBC's Steve Liesman presented information from the JPMorgan Institute that showed definitively that consumers are now spending that extra cash in retail, particularly in restaurants and retail.
"This is spectacular news for one of the most ailing parts of the stock market, as retailers and restaurants had been in a bit of a funk ever since what felt like a fizzling back to school season," Cramer added. (Tweet this)
Cramer also suspects that the spare change from the pump could be at the root of the strength in stocks like McDonald's, Ross Stores and GameStop. He even saw a bottom in Macy's stock, and J.C. Penney has started to break out.
Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
But the real boost to the consumer will come when they get their heating bills this winter, with natural gas close to 15-year lows. That is more savings into their pockets, especially since natural gas is now heating the majority of homes.
So unless investors own the stock of a troubled oil company that can't pay the bills, or are stuck in the black hole of Petrobras, lower gasoline prices could be an opportunity to make money buying retail stocks at the same stores they shop at.
"And even though the price of crude has been rebounding, I think it is only going to get better form here for the stocks of restaurants, apparel companies and retailers, one of the most challenged groups of 2015, at least until now," Cramer said. (Tweet this)