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Good news injected some confidence into an uncertain market on Thursday.
Indefinite progress in the U.S.-China trade standoff and new economic numbers drew investors back into stocks that sold off in recent volatile trading days, but the sentiment could be short-lived if more positive developments don't follow, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
But with his mind on the start of a brand new NFL season, the "Mad Money" host held a special fantasy stock draft where he picked what he saw as the stock market equivalents to top players in the league. Cramer is certain his fantasy portfolio of diversified equities can yield good results, even in this uncertain market.
Later on, the former hedge fund manager sat down to talk with used-car online retailer Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia, who mapped out the company's path to profitability. Before closing the show, Cramer reflected on the past week in trading after returning to the TV waves from a vacation in Italy that kept him away from work, emails and other vital communications to stay on top of the market.
Wall Street saw a "sea change" in investments after a round of good news triggered investors to buy up cyclical names that many have recently fled from, Cramer said.
In the session, the advanced more than 300 points, along with 1.30% and 1.75% rises in the and , respectively. The averages moved higher on positive economic data, including stronger-than-expected results in August ADP payroll additions and July factory order growth and renewed optimism in U.S.-China trade negotiations, the host said.
"The bottom line is that nothing much has changed" as prior trade talks have failed and good data have been followed by weaker numbers, Cramer said. "But there's one big difference: Maybe some ... commentators will ease up on the desire to endlessly call for a recession, at least for a couple days. Unless, of course, the nonfarm payroll report stinks up the joint tomorrow, in which case" look out below.
Casual and avid sports fans have spent recent weeks jockeying for the top names in NFL to assemble, whether for fun or competition, their fantasy football teams.
Drafting football players and tracking their stats throughout the season is much like picking a portfolio of stocks and following their moves on the market, Cramer said. His goal in this year's annual fantasy stock draft is to help investors stay the course in a chaotic market environment.
"Managing a diversified portfolio of stocks has a lot in common with putting together a fantasy football team," the host said. "Different companies fill different roles."
With the 100th season of the NFL set to kickoff Thursday evening when the Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears, Cramer revealed the top picks in his annual "Mad Money" Fantasy Stock Football Draft.
Garcia, who also is president and chairman of the company, said the Arizona-based vehicle retailer saw 95% unit growth, along with triple-digit growth in revenue and customer interactions in its second quarter.
"Despite all that growth, over the last three years we've gone from losing about 23 cents on every dollar of revenue to 3 cents last quarter," Garcia said. "That's a big move in just three years and we did that while, you know, increasing the size of the company tenfold."
"What did I miss while I was on vacation? Not much. Don't sweat the program. Look, I know there are … momentous moments in the stock market," Cramer said. "They could be right around the corner, but this moment is not one of them."
In Cramer's lightning round, the "Mad Money" host zips through his thoughts on callers' stock picks of the day.
: "Anyone who bets against [CEO] Barry Sternlicht bets against me."
Yum Brands: "I like Yum Brands very much. I think it's a buy, buy, buy, buy, buy. What a great couple of quarters they've had and new CEO, I'm not worried."
Netflix: "It's my least-favorite FAANG stock, frankly, and the reason why it's my least favorite is because it's got all this competition coming in."