CNBC's Jim Cramer often says that investors should watch the transportation stocks because they offer valuable insights into a key economic driver: commerce. And last week, things didn't look good.
"If commerce is weak, then the stock market is going to get weak," the "Mad Money" host said on Wednesday. "We got some real downer numbers last week from Delta, from American, holy cow. They were beginning to make me question how much we should be paying for stocks in general if they were doing so poorly."
But when United Continental reported before Wednesday's opening bell, the airline giant's upside surprise brightened the outlook for the entire transportation cohort, Cramer said.
"My conclusion? Don’t despair about the transports, just question how American and Delta are doing versus the share-grabbing United Continental," he quipped.