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Cramer Remix: Time to stash an elevated amount of cash

Taking just one look at the recent economic data, Jim Cramer says the Federal Reserve is looking "dumb and dumber."

First employment looked lackluster, then the services PMI came in weaker than expected for August. Cramer wondered why Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered any forecast at all about raising interest rates, and what Vice Chair Stanley Fischer was thinking when he talked about the possibility of two rate hikes this year.

Cramer's research indicated that approximately only 20 percent of the S&P 500 would benefit from a rate hike, and 80 percent would not.

"I say prepare for the worst — weak data going into a rate hike — by having an elevated cash position, selling into strength, while accepting that you are going to miss a couple percentage points of upside if Janet Yellen does the right thing and leaves rates unchanged. Believe me, you will be able to get back in if they do nothing," the "Mad Money" host said.

Having extra cash ready going into the September meeting seemed to Cramer like a better risk-reward scenario.

Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, attends an open meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve with Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, right, in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, attends an open meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve with Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, right, in Washington, D.C.

With the impending gloom of a slowing economy and a possible rate hike, 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," he said.

Cramer said he watches for merger activity and strength in growth stocks that can keep the market from rolling over.

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.

And with Apple's product launch event just around the corner, many investors are wringing their hands worried about weaker demand for cellphones and the new iPhone 7. But Cramer found bullish news buried in the charts for the stock.

"Not too long ago Apple's chart looked hideous, now it's got a lot going for it. This is why I'm always saying that you should never trade Apple, just own the darned thing," Cramer said.

Cramer turned to the help of Carolyn Boroden to interpret the charts. Boroden is a technician who runs FibonacciQueen.com and is a colleague of Cramer's at RealMoney.com.

Boroden also used Fibonacci ratios. These are a series of ratios discovered by medieval mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci that occur naturally around the world. They can pop up to determine the shape of flowers, shells and in stock charts, too. Boroden looks at the size and duration of past swings for a stock and then runs them through the prism of Fibonacci ratios to spot key prices and dates where they are likely to change trajectory.

Looking at the weekly chart for Apple, Boroden saw that if the larger bullish pattern in Apple repeats itself, then the stock could trade up to $146. She did this by taking the last big swing of the $45 decline in May and running it through the Fibonacci prism of 127.2 percent. That calculated an upside target of $146.

"Boroden believes that Apple has a good chance of working its way up to that level over the next couple of years, as long as the stock price continues to hold above its May low of $89," Cramer said.


Even with housing gaining strength, 2016 has been a terrible year for some of the largest players in the furniture space. Shares of Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma and Wayfair have all been crushed.

When Cramer dug a little deeper, he found that while consumers are buying furniture, they aren't shopping at the same stores or even online like they used to.

"I recommend staying on the sidelines with all three of these furniture stocks until we know that they have gotten their acts together," Cramer said.

Cramer's top pick in the furniture space is J.C. Penney, which called out the furniture space as one of its strongest categories. With CEO Marvin Ellison running the show, Cramer thinks Penney is one of the best furniture bargains out there.

Investors have also worried about Walgreens' plan to acquire Rite Aid, particularly since the federal government has become more aggressive in blocking deals on antitrust grounds this year.

However, a big development last week made Cramer think Walgreens has a better chance of moving forward with that deal.

Last week, a report from The Capital Forum stated that supermarket chain Kroger could be a potential buyer for overlapping stores that Walgreens and Rite Aid may need to sell. If this report is true, then Cramer thinks it could be the final hurdle before the Federal Trade Commission approves the merger.

"At this point you can win either way. It's terrific if the deal goes through, but if it falls through I think Walgreens will buy back a ton of stock, which should cause it to go higher anyway," Cramer said.

In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:

Lazard: "I would ring the register. This isn't a good call play, this is a slow-go growth stock with a 4 percent yield in an area of investment banking that is pretty strong. But not a call play. I would at least cut it in half. You don't need to play this one with calls."

Public Storage: "No, a 3 percent yield, it's starting to roll over. We don't need to do that. Real estate investment trusts, we are going to go away from that. It's not our pick. We like Ventas."