Jim Cramer saw a big change in market perspective this week. The shift occurred so dramatically that it prompted investors to suddenly love stocks that they hated just a few short weeks ago — such as IBM.
"This is a market that has disdained low valued stocks. Its mantra has been, sure they're cheap, but so what? However, the market is not saying that anymore," the "Mad Money" host said.
The one value play that was front and center on Cramer's radar was Apple at $97, where it trades at just 10 times earnings.
Apple just announced a $12 billion bond deal, which will provide it with capital to buy back stock. At the same time, its Apple pay feature just went live in China where electronic payment is more prevalent than in the U.S.
Cramer added that he knows most investors have only been focused on the difficult position CEO Tim Cook found himself recently regarding the request from the FBI, and he believes that ultimately the courts will decide the outcome.
"But you don't need a court to remember that Apple is now getting $30 billion in service sales a year. That is the revenue stream that so many want Apple to have. They have it!" Cramer said.
Despite Thursday's market declines, Cramer called for investors to roll up their sleeves and figure out what stocks should be bought from the rally in the past three days.
He does not want investors to be disheartened by Thursday's market declines. In Cramer's experience, a three-day rally always tends to be followed by multi-day declines.
So now that the rally has started to dwindle, Cramer expects opportunities to start knocking. So instead of investors thinking they missed the rally, he reminded them declines do occur after a three-day burst in stocks.
Additionally, Cramer found plenty of stocks that are still well off their highs. The downturn in 2016 effectively broke stocks that were previously some of the hottest growth plays out there.
Alliance Data Systems is a business support company that powers various branded credit cards, customized marketing and loyalty programs for retailers.
For years, Alliance Data seemed it could do no wrong as the stock more than quadrupled from the beginning of 2009 until its peak in the middle of Apr '15. The stock then stalled in 2015, and by the time 2016 began it was totally crushed.
What went wrong?
Cramer traced the moment of Alliance Data's fall to July when the company reported its second-quarter results. The actual numbers were pretty good, but management provided a pessimistic forecast for the next quarter. The company's loyalty card business was also down 15 percent during the quarter, which many investors interpreted as a shocking decline.
Cracks began to appear in the story during the second half of 2015. When 2016 rolled around, the stock fell about 10 percent in the first four weeks in a brutal market wide sell-off.
"While this story isn't red-hot like it used to be, I think the recent weakness in Alliance Data needs to be viewed as a buying opportunity, especially since the company will be in there buying the stock with you," Cramer said.
In case there was any doubt that lower gasoline prices are finally trickling down to the bottom line of companies, Six Flags put an end to those doubts when it reported a strong quarter on Thursday.
Six Flags is the largest theme park operator in the U.S., with 18 parks spanning North America. So when the price at the gas pump falls, more people drive to places like Six Flags.
To find out what could be in store for the future, Cramer spoke with the former CEO and now executive chairman Jim Reid-Anderson, and John Duffey the former CFO now CEO.
"We made substantial investments in both our fright fest offering in October, and our holiday in the park offerings in December," Duffey said. "And Jim that is one of the reasons why now if you think about the fourth quarter, years ago it used to be part of the off season. Now it's a major contributor to our financial performance."
And even after an amazing three-day run this week, Cramer knows the market can still be difficult. That is why he turned his attention to a high quality stock like Waste Management, the largest trash collection and recycling company in America.
Waste Management reported on Thursday morning, and the company missed on the top line even as it reported a 3-cent earnings beat from a 68-cent basis. However, the company did provide solid guidance and a 6.4 percent dividend boost.
Can the stock climb higher? To find out, Cramer spoke with the CEO of Waste Management, David Steiner.
"No doubt about it, we are really right in the sweet spot with the economy right now. Everything is clicking. We've got the right team in place; we've got the right sales people in place. Now if we could get some help in those recycled commodity markets, everything would be clicking on all cylinders," Steiner said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Amgen: "I like Amgen, it's one of the cheapest of the biotechs. I have cooled a tad to the biotechs because of this political situation going on where everybody hates them. I'm not hating on Amgen."
Celldex Therapeutics: "Oh man, they have taken this one to the woodshed. It's really incredible. If you want to like a speculative stock this is probably a good one to get started right here. Holy cow they have killed Celldex."