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With the impending gloom of a slowing economy and a possible rate hike, Jim Cramer is hunting for companies with little economic sensitivity.
"These companies show that not only can the gravitational pull down be stymied, it can be beaten with the right set of circumstances that happen a lot more often than you might think," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer said he watches for merger activity and strength in growth stocks that can keep the market from rolling over.
Oil companies that make optimistic plays, even in the face of lower oil prices, could fall in this category. EOG Resources used the chaos of lower oil prices to consolidate and make acquisitions that would have otherwise proven impossible. It bought Yates Petroleum for $2.5 billion in mostly stock to get assets in the Permian Basin.
"I keep wondering when the heck the majors are going to start fishing in the Permian, but these independents simply aren't waiting. They are consolidating all the good prospects, particularly in the Permian Basin," Cramer said.
Cramer noted similar optimism from pipeline companies. Enbridge and Spectra just came together to create the largest pipeline network in the U.S. Enbridge even paid Spectra $28 billion in stock to own 43 percent of the combined entity. Because of the wisdom of the deal, both stocks went higher on Tuesday.
Cramer said the deal showed him that even a left-for-dead group like the pipelines can come alive with a merger.
Companies that do well even if the economy would slow after a Fed rate hike are an easier growth thesis to spot.
"It is a time honored way to invest in a declining economic environment," Cramer said.
Alphabet, parent of Google, sits in the sweet spot of good growth and low expectations, Cramer said. He added that it has little economic sensitivity. The company recently cut back on money-losing projects to fund the winners. Growth investors look for exactly that kind of disciplined spending.
Cramer saw Amazon as another play in that environment. Analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray recently indicated the stock is undervalued.
A less-obvious company on Cramer's radar was Acacia Communications, with makes high-speed optical equipment for both cloud infrastructure and telecom service providers.
"Or go overseas with the red-hot Alibaba, which has done nothing but go higher since its blowout quarter a month ago," Cramer said.