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Cramer Remix: Not so fast—the Fed might not be done with its rate hikes yet

Key Points
  • CNBC's Jim Cramer explains why renewed strength in the retail and housing stocks could make the Fed rethink the rate hike pause.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook joins the "Mad Money" host for a wide-ranging interview.
  • Cramer also checks in with Allergan CEO Brent Saunders, who says investors are misunderstanding his business.
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Cramer Remix: Not so fast—the Fed might not be done with its rate hikes yet

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell may have said the central bank will be more patient with its interest rate hikes, but CNBC's Jim Cramer has a "niggling worry" about that pledge.

"Powell changed his mind once; he can change his mind again," Cramer said Tuesday. "If he sees enough positive data and enough bullish action from the stock market, it just might convince him that the economy can handle another rate hike, and one sooner rather than later."

Cramer, host of "Mad Money," started weighing this possibility when he saw the strength of stocks like Walmart, Lululemon, Lowe's and the housing sector in Tuesday's trading session.

Rallies in the retail stocks often serves as "good anecdotal evidence that the consumer is still spending," he said, while an uptick in housing could give the Fed exactly what it needs to keep tightening with the purpose of avoiding inflation.

"These stocks are climbing because investors expect a pause on rate hikes, yet the Fed could easily use the strength here as a justification for more tightening, perhaps as soon as their February meeting," Cramer warned.

If that happens, "we know we're paying too much for both groups," he said.

All eyes on Apple: CEO Tim Cook speaks

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Anti-Defamation League's "Never is Now" summit in New York City, December 3, 2018
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Cramer for an exclusive interview at one of the iPhone maker's stores in Cupertino.

In the wide-ranging interview, the two discussed Cook's optimism about U.S.-China relations, his response to Wall Street's Apple pessimists, the company's new initiatives for 2019, the success of its wearable products, and the Apple-Qualcomm dispute.

Click here for a full transcript of the interview.

Cramer talks FAANG: Not too late?

Facebook, Google and Amazon apps displayed on a smartphone.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

It's not too late to buy some of the top stocks in tech, Cramer said Tuesday as big names like Apple and Amazon led .

In fact, Cramer would recommend nearly all of the stocks in FAANG, his acronym for , Amazon, Apple, and Google parent .

"With the exception of Netflix, I don't think" it's too late to buy shares, he said on "Mad Money." "There's too much opportunity in FAANG, even among the likes of Facebook, even if only for a trade."

Allergan CEO says company is 'misunderstood'

Brent Saunders, CEO, Allergan
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Botox maker Allergan needs to improve its perception on Wall Street, the company's Chairman, President and CEO, Brent Saunders, told Cramer in a Tuesday interview.

"I think our company has been misunderstood" by stakeholders, Saunders told Cramer, speaking from the 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

Saunders admitted that some of the recent weakness in Allergan's stock may have been tied to "unforced errors" like the loss of its patent protection for dry eye treatment Restasis, one of its leading drugs.

"The reality is that you have to look at the underlying operational performance of the company. In 2018, three quarters of the year in, which is what we've reported, the core business grew 7.7 percent. That's 90 percent of Allergan," the CEO said. "We have now 12 programs in Phase 3 development and almost 60 other earlier to mid-stage programs in development. We have a great company. We need to do a better job showing that to investors and other stakeholders."

Click here to watch Saunders' full interview.

Lightning round: Long-term LUV?

In Cramer's lightning round, he shared his responses to callers' stock questions:

: "If you take a longer-term view, I am going to say yes. Short term, we know the last couple months were not that good, and oil went down. But if oil stabilizes, we start getting some better numbers, [CEO] Gary Kelly's going to deliver, and that's my stance."

: "That was a bummer. I expected more. But I'm going to stick with it. I believe that [CEO] Kevin Plank is back. It had a pullback, it's re-testing and I think it's going to go forward."

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet.

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