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If Janet Yellen says the United States is ready for a rate hike, Jim Cramer expects the market to get hit.
"It is as simple as that, so if you are in trading mode to the long side, be aware that she can hurt you with tough talk and take you to new heights with talk of staying the course until we get better data," the "Mad Money " host said.
Yellen and the Fed face a problem in that job growth has been strong but wages have stayed stagnant. There would be no point in hiking rates, other than the fear of inflation, Cramer said. The world's transition to digitization and globalization are wage crushers.
However, if Yellen determines that a rate hike should occur, Cramer advised to own the financial stocks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. He pinned Wells Fargo as his favorite of the group.
"She's smart, so I'm betting Yellen simply argues we don't have enough data yet to draw a conclusion," Cramer said.
With the U.S. central bank in mind, Cramer outlined the stocks and events he will be watching this week. And while it is a somewhat slow week, he was stunned by how big they were:
"I know everyone was playing the 'who's next' game in biotech, but if you want to find the next big takeover target, I think the chip stocks offer a more fertile hunting ground," he said.
Instead, Cramer had his eye on the news that Japan's Renesas is considering a bid to buy U.S. semiconductor maker Intersil for $3 billion.
"The true M&A hot spot isn't biotech, it's semiconductors," Cramer said.
"The conventional wisdom about shopping has been totally wrong … This past quarter put the lie to that supposition in so many ways," the "Mad Money " host said.
Amazon's $50 billion in domestic sales in the past year was an indicator to Cramer that there is market share for everyone, as the U.S. had $4.71 trillion in retail sales during the same time period.
Brick-and-mortars, which once seemed like zombies, once again have a pulse.
"That is why we need to bury the whole 'death of the mall' narrative right this minute, because so many mall-based stores put up good numbers with good commentary," Cramer said.
"If you bought either of those stocks on my recommendation, I suggest you ring the register on some of your winnings — no need to be greedy," Cramer said.
However, some IPOs have not done so well. At Home Group is the home furnishings super-store that came public two weeks ago at $15 per share, and has barely moved since then.
After researching it thoroughly, Cramer ultimately determined that while he likes the story behind Home, it is still too early. He recommended that it should not be a core holding in anyone's portfolio, but for those who can handle speculation, then they can buy it with their discretionary funds.
One of Cramer's favorite themes currently is the growing demand for cellphone towers around the world. The business model is essentially that a company puts up a cell tower, and then it can lease the space to multiple wireless antenna arrays from various carriers.
Given the competition between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint for market share, he considers the cell tower companies to be the arms dealers in the battle for subscribers.
American Tower Corp is a real estate investment trust that owns the largest amount of cell towers in the world, with more than 144,000. Cramer noted the rapid growth occurring overseas, with huge increases in data traffic and need for more towers.
He spoke with American Tower's Chairman and CEO Jim Taiclet, who explained that most of India still uses second generation equipment, while the U.S. is on third generation equipment. However, once Apple begins to sell iPhones in India, it could present a tremendous growth opportunity for the future.
"We are the leading independent tower company in India. A country with 1.3 billion people, about four times as many as the U.S. So, there is a lot of upside," Taiclet said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
XPO Logistics: "I don't know. When you own XPO, you just have Brad Jacobs [CEO] on it. The stock was dramatically lower, they reported a great quarter and the stock has gone higher. Now it is resting, but I do like it. I think the business is very strong. Jacobs gave us some real good insight."
JetBlue: "I think you hop on the flight, you have a really good time. You watch TV, and then you don't buy the stock. This stock to me does not offer a lot of upside. And that group is very, very painful."