CNBC's Jim Cramer has found one surefire way to boost your stock on a tepid day like Wednesday: say you're making investments in technology to make your company more efficient.
"Just look at the stock of Home Depot," the "Mad Money" host said. "[It] announced this morning that it's hiring 1,000 technical professionals as part of its $11 billion strategic investment plan, and [its stock] was rewarded with a nearly 3 percent rally."
Forty-seven percent of IBM's business is "right," he acknowledged: it focuses on the cloud, blockchain, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
But IBM's incumbent businesses have money managers worried, so much so that they think IBM's spending patterns could stymie its growth trajectory.
"These money managers are all about identifying companies with the best growth prospects," Cramer said. "As far as they're concerned, IBM's big dividend is a big red flag. It's a sign that the company doesn't have the opportunities or the DNA, perhaps, to invest in the future, even as IBM spends a fortune on R&D."
Shares of Acacia lost 35 percent of their value on Monday after the Commerce Department ruled to ban U.S. companies from selling components to Chinese phone equipment company ZTE for seven years.
"Here's what drives me nuts about this story. We've known this was a risk all along, people," the Cramer said.
Acacia, an optical networking equipment maker, came public in 2016. In 2017, the company got roughly 70 percent of its sales from just five companies, with nearly a third coming from ZTE.
"Do not get me wrong, it is fine to speculate in high-risk stocks — you know I think that way, although I haven't liked Acacia for quite some time — but if you're going to take that kind of chance, at the very least, you need to be aware of the risks you're facing," Cramer said.
With that in mind, Cramer went over the warning signs he saw over the years that culminated in Acacia's massive Monday drop.
"That's the downbeat consensus investors have cobbled together over the last few days after hearing from all the big banks and no one's bothering to dispute it," the "Mad Money" host said. "That's why the bank stocks have stalled and are going lower."
This is happening despite the pervasive narrative that the U.S. economy is growing, stimulated by the government's tax overhaul and increasing consumer spending, Cramer said.
The real estate investment trust stocks may be struggling, but Gary Wojtaszek, the president and CEO of data center REIT CyrusOne, told CNBC he's seeing strength on the horizon.
"The only thing we can control is our execution, and as you saw in the fourth quarter, we continue to put up really big numbers," he told Cramer on Wednesday, highlighting his company's 31 percent rise in revenue. "Over time, people are going to recognize that that'll eventually pay off."
CyrusOne, which boasts clients like Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle, has been expanding globally as well, recently acquiring the largest private data center company with operations in London and Frankfurt.
But Wojtaszek wasn't worried about heightened tensions between the United States and China, either.
"A lot of the stuff that they're talking about are not really that data-focused, and so I don't really think it's going to hit us," the CEO said. "[Chinese data center operator] GDS is a company we bought. They're up dramatically. We've more than doubled our return on that investment in a couple months."
Competing with a biotechnology giant like Allergan doesn't spook Revance Therapeutics co-founder, President and CEO Dan Browne, whose company is developing injectable therapies that compete with Allergan's flagship product, Botox.
Browne told Cramer on Wednesday that his competing treatment, which is slated for release in 2020, could eventually reach the heights that Botox has reached under Allergan's control.
"This has been a passion for Revance for 15 years," the CEO said. "We think with scale, we'll have the same margins as the existing commercial leader, the market leader in the Botox brand."
Browne was also confident in keeping his development-stage biotechnology company afloat until the flagship product's 2020 launch.
"Look, I don't think you're ever as funded in biotech as much as you want to be, but I think at this point, we're very well capitalized, we see a number of catalysts that as we go forward," Browne said. "Whether we partner, whether we don't partner, [we feel] that we'll be able to raise the capital we need to launch this product."
In Cramer's lightning round, he rattled off his take on some callers' favorite stocks:
American Water Works Company: "Always liked it. Good growth. Consistent company. Nothing the matter with that. I'd say it's a buy. It's been a buy since we started the show."
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions: "Now, Kratos has been in a crossfire. There's longs and shorts. We recommended it lower. It's a battleground stock. I don't want to be in a battleground. Sell."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Citigroup and J.P. Morgan.