Jim Cramer breaks down what's driving the stock market's rally toward all-time highs

Key Points
  • "Without strong demand, the averages never would have made it this far," CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "You need to listen to the conference calls to know who has demand and who doesn't. Right now, the demand 'ayes' have it, and that's a big reason why we can keep going higher," the "Mad Money" host says.
  • "All of this bullish activity breeds an environment where stocks represent superior value because their earnings streams are less dependent on the Fed than the macro commentators would have you believe," he says.
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What drove the market's rally to all-time highs, according to Jim Cramer

Demand is driving Wall Street toward new all-time highs, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday.

The S&P 500 rose nearly 17 points, or 0.56%, setting a record close of 3,039.42, and the Nasdaq Composite expanded nearly 83 points, or 1.01%, missing its record close by about 4 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 132 points, or 0.49%, though the 30-stock average is still about 400 points off its all-time high.

The S&P 500 set a previous closing high of 3,025.86 in late July. The index bounced from an intraday low of 2,822.12 in early August, according to FactSet, to stage a roughly 7.7% gain through Monday's market end.

"Without strong demand, the averages never would have made it this far," the "Mad Money" host said. He added that a trade truce between the U.S. and China helped "a host of flailing stocks to get their mojo back."

"You need to listen to the conference calls to know who has demand and who doesn't. Right now, the demand 'ayes' have it, and that's a big reason why can we keep going higher."

A slew of companies have reported quarterly results thus far this earnings season, and there's evidence that the domestic consumer economy remains strong. That demand, Cramer said, is helping to offset industrial weakness coming from the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. Enterprise demand is also a large contributor, he added.

Cramer conceded that tariffs have affected the global economy on a year-over-year comparison. Still, he highlighted that demand is strong for money, homes, data processing, cancer drugs, programming, cellphones, planes and stock.

Low interest rates have allowed banks to lend more money to both consumers and businesses looking to expand or buy back stocks, as evident in quarterly reports from J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.

"I know it's easy to dismiss all this as the [Federal Reserve] propping up the stock market with cheap money ... [but] our interest rates are higher than the rest of the developed world's," Cramer argued. "Compared to Europe or Japan, our money's not cheap at all."

The housing market, though marked with low supply, is benefiting from outsized demand and lower mortgage rates, Cramer pointed out.

Demand for data, a boon for the technology sector, is "the greatest secular growth story of our era," he said.

In the pharmaceutical industry, "combating cancer has become a gigantic tentpole business for many drug companies," he said.

The video industry is in the "golden age of entertainment" with multiple companies such as Disney and Apple looking to challenge Netflix in the streaming space, he said.

Wall Street will get a look at how iPhone sales are going when Apple reports on Wednesday.

While the airline industry has been marred by Boeing's 737 Max woes, demand for air travel "has massively overwhelmed the supply, hence why Boeing's stock refuses to roll over," Cramer said.

"All of this bullish activity breeds an environment where stocks represent superior value because their earnings streams are less dependent on the Fed than the macro commentators would have you believe," he said.

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Jim Cramer breaks down what's driving the stock market toward all-time highs

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Apple and Disney.

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