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Marketwide stock declines may have investors questioning whether their stock picks are dropping for the right reasons, so on Monday, CNBC's Jim Cramer decided to pinpoint a winner on the decline: Yum Brands.
"Honestly, the resilience of Yum has been kind of incredible," the "Mad Money" host said of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut parent. "As tailwinds have turned into headwinds, the darned thing just keeps chugging, and I think last week's marketwide pullback has finally given you a nice little entry point in a stock that has been red-hot."
And with management now focusing on the company's almost entirely franchised business — a Cramer-fave model because of the lower risk and steadier revenue stream — Yum has transformed into one of the best restaurant chains Cramer follows, he told investors.
"The bottom line? Yum's stock screamed higher as management made investors believe in their refranchising story, but then last week the whole market got slammed into a retaining wall [at] 60 miles an hour," he said.
"I think you're getting a rare pullback in a stock that's been marching steadily higher for years," Cramer continued. "I would be a buyer of this incredibly well-run company into any additional weakness."
As the stock market tried and failed to regain its bull status on Monday, with the tech sector driving the major averages lower into the close, what really worried Cramer were the stocks going up.
"My No. 1 fear when I looked at today's action? It's the rally in the stock of , " he said. "The best performers were the kind[s] of names you buy if you believe we are indeed headed into a downturn."
The stock of Clorox, a household products manufacturer, is widely considered to be a traditionally "safe" stock that produces steady growth and a high dividend. Shares of Clorox rose 1.22 percent in Monday's trading session.
Investors tend to flock to defensive names like Clorox and its fellow consumer products plays when the market looks to be facing long-term decline because of their typically bond-competitive yields.
"Don't get me wrong. You know I like Clorox a lot — management is doing a terrific job — but when these kinds of consumer packaged good ... stocks start roaring, that's the market telling you, 'Look out, the Fed's going to cause a slowdown,'" Cramer warned.
Click here to read his full analysis.
With stocks trying to recover from last week's painful selling, Cramer wanted to continue his marketwide power rankings to find plays worth buying at these levels.
"We're going sector by sector to highlight the stocks that seem best positioned right now, at this very moment," he said. "What's next? Well, it's one that's on everybody's mind because of the price of it: energy."
have generated continued successes for a number of energy companies as major oil-producing nations like Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela undergo domestic turmoil, thus crimping supply.
The Trump administration's have also squeezed Middle Eastern production. And the recent could give U.S. oil companies another leg up on international rivals, Cramer said.
"The American oil stocks have been hammered because of the controversy, but that seems crazy to me," he said. "If Saudi Arabia ends up facing any kind of sanctions, that's good news for our oil producers — the group should be going higher, not lower."
All in all, this backdrop has produced a handful of "very big winners" in energy, Cramer said. But which ones are the most investable?
Click here for his breakdown.
Not only does MedMen's acquisition of medical cannabis vendor PharmaCann mark the largest marijuana-related takeover in U.S. history, but it underscores how integral retail is to the cannabis market, CEO Adam Bierman told CNBC.
"It's a blockbuster deal," Bierman, who co-founded cannabis cultivator, manufacturer and retailer MedMen in 2010, told Cramer in an interview.
"Retail is the place to be because of the defensibility due to the zoning restrictions and the limited number of licenses," Bierman said. "I think retail is the permanent moat opportunity for this industry and that's where we'll continue to be focused."
When the $685 million all-stock takeover of PharmaCann is complete, MedMen will operate 66 licensed retail stores and 13 factories across 12 states, including in the markets on which MedMen is primarily focused: California, Nevada and New York.
Dubbing those the best markets for cannabis in the United States, Bierman said PharmaCann will enable MedMen to fast-track some of its growth in those regions, all of which are integral to building .
Click here to watch and read more about his full interview.
Finally, Cramer looked into why a top truck manufacturer at the "sweet spot of e-commerce" issued a wildly negative earnings preannouncement on Friday.
Between a lack of new workers, rising raw costs due to steel tariffs and slumping demand, Wabash National's business is being squeezed, and the Fed's plans to hike interest rates several more times don't exactly help, Cramer said.
And while the "Mad Money" host understood why Fed Chair Jerome Powell was forecasting more rate hikes — rising labor costs, like those for overtime, tend to be inflationary — he thought some inflation was "a small price to pay for a strong economy."
"Let's call it a consequence of full employment. Why not just let those workers make a little more money?" he said. "Companies like Wabash and Thor [Industries will] sort it out. They got that big tax cut anyway. Meanwhile, the tariffs are already slowing down the economy, so the Fed may not need to take much more action anyway. "
But if the Fed doesn't listen, U.S. manufacturers aren't exactly left with a pretty picture, Cramer warned.
"We're left with this situation where, just when a down-and-out manufacturer finally has some hope for a big year, it's gotten hit with the triple-whammy of higher labor costs, higher steel costs and higher interest rates," he said. "To me, these rate hikes seem like an awfully high price to pay to break an inflationary cycle that's mostly government-made to begin with."
In Cramer's lightning round, he zipped through his take on callers' favorite stocks:
: "I liked that . And, by the way, Medtronic holds up better than almost any stock in this market. What does that tell you? Tells you to buy it, not sell it. "
: "Xilinx had a very, very good quarter. I like it. Now, a lot of tech stocks are being sent down because of a couple of stocks that are being hit: being hit after the bell, being hit after the bell. There's this big sell program in the Nasdaq. I don't know why after , but just be aware. It's going to be included. "
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Amazon and Apple.