J.B. Hunt Transport Services' downbeat earnings call on Monday should put to rest any ideas that the economy is too strong and that the Federal Reserve should tighten interest rates again, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
The trucking and transportation company's stock sank nearly 5% after missing Wall Street's expectations and blaming low volume on bad weather in the Midwest. Cramer pointed out that volumes were down as much a 7% in each of the first three months of 2019, and the firm is hoping that customer demand picks back up in April.
"Trucking is a huge tell for the real economy, which has definitely slowed year-over-year," the "Mad Money" host said. "This is the kind of conference call that I listened to, but Fed Chief Jerome Powell didn't, which is why he foolishly hit us with that rate hike too far in December."
Cramer highlighted that officials explained the company's hot intermodal container business had cooled off, that prices could be cut to attract more business, and tariffs on Chinese imports had left too much inventory in the system.
Furthermore, Uber's freight business could put more pressure on wages, Cramer said. Consumer products companies could improve their margins as they get some relief from soaring freight costs, he added.
"That chapter of the inflation story is now over. Still one more reason why the Fed doesn't need to tighten," Cramer said. "If anything, they should be thinking about cutting rates if this keeps up."
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Cramer said the market has fooled the bears as stocks continue to power through adversity.
"You've gotta admire the resilience of this market," Cramer said. "On a sedate day … what stands out to me is the incredible resilience of so many stocks that you expected to get hammered overtime."
He went on to examine the latest moves in Boeing, Nike, and Caterpillar's stocks, among others.
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Martin Schroeter, the computer maker's senior vice president of global markets, told Cramer in a one-on-one that the company wants to grow revenue, but it's more focused on getting "growth in the right places."
"We didn't see it in revenue this time, but we did see it in margin improvement in GTS," he said. GTS is IBM's global information technology business.
"Overall margins were up, but we've been very selective about our global technology services business and where w'ere placing our bets and we want to make sure that turns into high margin."
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The Nasdaq Composite has been inching toward its all-time high, and a number of the biggest technology stock gainers could have more room to rise, Cramer said.
The tech-heavy index picked up 0.30% during the session to close just above 8,000, about 1.6% off the all-time high it recorded in August.
"Alphabet, Snap and Alibaba have been screaming higher, and as much as we hate to chase on 'Mad Money,' the charts, as interpreted by Bob Lang, suggest that all three of these internet stocks have more room to run," the host said.
Lang is founder of ExplosiveOptions.net, an options trading service, and a contributor at TheStreet.com, the financial news service co-founded by Cramer. Lang relied on the Ichimoku Cloud and Chaikin Money Flow indicators to make a case, Cramer said.
"I don't know if he's right, but it never hurts to have the charts on your side," he said.
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Cramer said that Banco Santander could be the largest unknown bank in the country. The Spain-based firm's Group Executive Chairman Ana Botin told Cramer it's been around for 155 years and provides a key service to mid-market customers even in the U.S.
"There's a trillion of trade between the United States and South America and Europe and we are the best bank to service customers — mid-market customers," she said. "We have customers in the Midwest that do auto parts, or we help them in Mexico and Brazil, and vice versa ... We're very good in supply chain finances, for example. And so this is a huge opportunity for us because we are really on both sides."
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In Cramer's lightning round, he shared his thoughts on callers' stock questions:
Rockwell Automation Inc.: "I think that Rockwell Automation is a good stock to buy. I actually think it's about to break out of here after a prolonged period where it's just been marking time. And I also see … a reverse head and shoulders, just in case you might be a budding technician.
PG&E Corp.: "Man, that one's too hard for me. I never punt. I am punting on that one. That involves courts and all sorts of other stuff I don't like."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Alphabet.