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Strong demand is the one thing the market is missing, Jim Cramer says.
"Among the many reasons why we have developed this vicious volatility of late is the belief that demand is waning in many industries just when the Fed wants to tighten, hence why we ultimately drifted lower again today," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer heard the concerns about lack of demand everywhere at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference this week. It seemed to him that the vast majority of speakers had written off the prospect of robust growth in demand, either in the U.S. or overseas.
"I view things differently. While I have a macro worldview … I am a bottoms' up guy, a person who looks at demand company by company and makes an aggregate case based on the pastiche that I can put together," Cramer said.
Unlike many investors, Cramer does not consider oil a proper barometer to measure the economy. When U.S. inventories drop, crude has a fleeting rally, and then a decline when investors recognize a glut still exists. Sometimes, crude even rebounds when countries that want prices higher spread rumors of an emergency OPEC meeting to freeze production.
"In other words, the price of oil is manipulated, it's bogus, and it has little-to-nothing to do with real demand that we need to calculate to make our worldview, even as it is the metric of choice for so many fund managers," Cramer said.
If Cramer got $100 every time someone called the world's markets as "dangerous" at the Delivering Alpha conference, he would be a very rich man.
Delivering Alpha is the conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.
Cramer noted that many discussions among large hedge fund managers at the conference focused on the role of central banks in propping up stocks, or how the Federal Reserve has distorted the economy by creating artificial opportunities that could get taken away one day.
"In other words, the Fed is set up for failure with its easy money policies. However, I am of a very different mindset," the "Mad Money" host said.
More importantly, hedge fund managers could not see that the market is made up of individual stocks, not a market of markets. That told Cramer that they are either hopelessly removed from the stock pricing process, or just don't care what companies are doing to improve their situations.
Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks have taken a beating this year amid drug pricing news surrounding companies like Valeant and Mylan, and some investors may think it's crazy to buy a drug stock right now. Cramer is willing to be called crazy.
"The drug company I have referenced for years as the kind of high-quality secular growth business that is totally immunized against the slings and arrows of the Federal Reserve or a slowing economy," he said.
However, it is important for investors to keep in mind that Bristol-Myers is now a value investment that requires a long-term time horizon, Cramer said. It could take a year or two for the story to play out. Short term, it could be choppy and the stock could go lower. Cramer recommended pouncing on weakness, especially as there could be some heading into the election.
Despite strong housing data recently, Cramer has found housing stocks overall to be mixed. He also worries that a rate hike from the Fed later in the year could curb home buying and make mortgages more expensive.
That is why he was shocked when luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers reported a few weeks ago and knocked it out of the park, sending its stock up nearly 9 percent in a single session. Cramer spoke with Toll Brothers' CEO Doug Yearley who confirmed the strong growth of the company. It prompted Toll to buy back 7 percent of its stock in the first three quarters of the year.
"There has been this fear about luxury that frankly we are not seeing in our business. There has been a great flight to our brand, and we just saw where the stock price was laying around and this year was the year to buy a whole bunch back," Yearley said.
Lately, it seems to Cramer like the entire retail group has fallen out of favor with Wall Street. However, the consumer discretionary category makes up nearly 13 percent of the S&P 500, and most of that is retail. That means many hedge funds and mutual funds won't feel safe unless they are mirroring the sector weighting.
In short, Cramer believes many funds have a lot of cash right now and are looking to invest in a retailer. Foot Locker recently landed on his radar as an option, and after a recent pullback, he thinks it could be the exact kind of retailer that big money will feel comfortable buying.
"Can Foot Locker get hit if the market goes back into sell-off mode like we had yesterday? Absolutely. But the company is doing extremely well and its stock is already quite cheap. It will only get cheaper if it goes lower," Cramer said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Macy's: "You want to keep that stock. More than 4 percent [yield]. I saw the upgrade today, and I believe there is going to be a catalyst of it closing 100 stores. I say buy, buy, buy."
Community Bank System: "It's OK. You know what, that group is under pressure right now because of another bank, Wells Fargo. I would tell you that I think it is just an OK situation. Not expensive, not cheap. Not enough for me. No edge."