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Jim Cramer saw a change of control in the marketplace, and it is no longer led by regular investors. The short sellers have stepped up to the plate to take charge — and believe it or not, Cramer was happy about it.
There are gigantic bets being made against stocks at all times. When those bets work, they work big. And when they fail, it is spectacular. But sometimes the best move to figure out what is going on is to follow the short sellers.
The term short selling refers to investors who sell a stock that they do not own or have borrowed. Investors make the move when they believe the price of a stock will decline, and they can buy it back at a lower price and make a profit.
"In the last 24 hours, we have witnessed some of the greatest short gains I have ever seen, as well as some downright disastrous bets against companies that managed to produce herculean results against all odds," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet this)
"Well guess what: Netflix may have failed to deliver, but the A and the G are roaring in after-hours trading, and so is Facebook, right on the backs of the short sellers. These are monster moves that are already sending up the futures for tomorrow's session," Cramer said.
His favorite list of the day also included Sirius XM Holdings, which he said was a necessity for investor portfolios.
Cramer was absolutely delighted when McDonald's earnings delivered a major happy meal to Wall Street on Thursday. The best part? Cramer thinks this is the start of a major McDonald's comeback.
"It is only just beginning and while I don't like to chase stocks that are up eight points and trading at their 52-week highs, I think the pinions are in place for a multiyear move," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet this)
In Cramer's perspective, the big turnaround for McDonald's is all about new CEO Steve Easterbrook. He took the reins just seven months ago and decided to start fixing the fundamentals. He focused on its difficult menu, costly mistakes and long lines at the drive-through.
Easterbook emphasized that McDonald's would go back to its core mission and sell inexpensive, good tasting food that is convenient and consistent.
But behind the scenes, Easterbrook pulled off what was viewed as an impossible move — he got the support of its franchises. That's vital because they run the actual stores every day.
Another stock that got its mojo back on Thursday was Cypress Semiconductor Corp. The stock soared from September to March, thanks to its acquisition of Spansion, but has been crushed among other semiconductor plays since then.
Cypress makes chips that are used for everything from powering touchscreens in mobile devices to small to low-power semiconductors called programmable systems chips that are used in various end markets.
On Thursday, the semiconductors bounced back, including Cypress Semi, despite the fact that Cramer found the company's numbers nothing to write home about when it reported in the morning. Cramer suspected that the stock rallied because investors have realized that the future is bright for this group.
To learn more, Cramer spoke with the Cypress CEO T.J. Rodgers.
"The stock shot up to $16, and, frankly, I think it was a euphoria — irrational exuberance to use the famous phrase — because of the merger. Then it dropped down to $9 and a little bit below $9. I don't know why. I asked a lot of people; I have no idea. But I know if I look at price-to-sales ratios…we are grossly undervalued," Rodgers said.
One high quality company that is on Cramer's radar is Snap-On. The company announced earnings on Thursday and beat Wall Street expectations, prompting the stock to jump more than 2 percent in a single session.
Snap-On makes premium tools and diagnostic equipment for auto repair shops and clients in aerospace, agriculture, construction, mining and power generation. The stock has been raising steadily, albeit quiety, and has more than doubled in the last five years.
To find out more about what was behind its stellar growth, Cramer spoke with Snap-On Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk.
He explained that the secret to its earning success was tied to more complicated cars hitting the market. Not more car dealers or more technicians — it was the drive of different changes in vehicles.
"Every time a car changes, we have new things to bring out. And that's what organic growth is. If you're talking about 7.3 percent in growth, you're talking about bits and bytes and tool and aligners and lifts that we sell more year over year, and that's what happened this time," Pinchuk said.
Another group taken to the woodshed this summer was the utilities, when investors expected the Federal Reserve to raise rates, which would make high-yielding stocks less attractive than bonds. However when the Fed decided to hold off on raising rates last month, the utilities came roaring back.
"Given the fickle nature of this market, I have to wonder if the utilities can sustain this recent move," Cramer said.
American Electric Power is a company that owns the largest power transmission network in the country, along with a huge power generation portfolio that serves approximately 5 million customers in 11 states. Its stock has been on a roller coaster ride in the past few months but stayed relatively flat after reporting on Thursday.
To learn more, Cramer spoke with American Electric Power Chairman and CEO Nick Akins.
"Our Eastern footprint, which is the Columbus area in the adjacent states, have grown actually more than the Western properties in the South Central part of the U.S., for the first time in a long time," Akins said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller-favorite stocks:
McKessen Corp: "McKesson right now is caught up in this incredible rolling bear market of health care. I think you've got to wait a couple of days, let things sort out. This stock is going lower, not higher. They want the industrials, and they want the techs right now."
Waste Management: "Not one, but two upgrades in the last two days. We believe in Mr. Steiner [CEO]. The stock's still cheap; I think it could go to $60."