While many of the market's semiconductor stocks slid into Tuesday's close, CNBC's Jim Cramer noticed one key player prevail: the stock of Advanced Micro Devices, which has rallied an astounding 192 percent just in 2018.
"Many of the semiconductor stocks were down today, but not this one," the "Mad Money" host said. "Why? End markets."
A leader in chips — a colloquial term for high-power computer processors — for personal computers, video gaming, data centers and cloud computing, AMD has positioned itself in a number of growth areas under Su's leadership, Cramer said. Read more of his take on AMD here.
But the end markets for NXP Semiconductor, another chipmaker that focuses on the connected car and the internet of things, are not quite as clear. In particular, weakness in the auto market has weighed heavily on NXP's shares.
"The autos have become one of the weakest parts of the global economy," Cramer said on Tuesday. "We just aren't making as many as we thought we would be at this point with the economy growing."
And the reasons for the slowdown are still unclear, the "Mad Money" host said.
"Could it be Uber? Student debt? Whatever the cause, something's wrong and the auto stocks, especially Ford, reflect that weakness," he said. "So investors worry that NXP's selling into an ugly end market that keeps getting hammered."
'China stocks' sending trade war signals?
Markets moved higher on Tuesday, leading Cramer to question how worried investors really are about the U.S.-China trade war.
"Have investors stopped fearing retaliation?" he wondered. "Do they think our governments will just make a deal so these tariffs never go into effect? What's the logic here?"
The market's unexpected strength comes after a weekend of escalating tensions between the two countries. On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters he was "ready to go" with tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. Reports surfaced shortly thereafter that China would ask the World Trade Organization to place sanctions on the United States.
But what Cramer found most puzzling was that despite these intensifying exchanges, shares of companies that do a lot of business in China — companies like Honeywell, United Technologies and Emerson Electric — are actually going higher.
Find out what he thinks that means here.
How millennials are affecting homebuilders: Toll Brothers CEO
Millennials may be frequently blamed for destroying industries like brick-and-mortar retail, but their habits aren't exactly bad for homebuilders like Toll Brothers, the luxury construction company's CEO told CNBC on Tuesday.
"We know they're marrying later, so they're buying homes later, but that also means they're wealthier when they buy," CEO Douglas Yearley told Cramer in an interview.
CNBC reported in July that today, just 57 percent of first-time homebuyers are married, compared with 75 percent in 1985.
That trend could lead to more millennials being able to afford Toll Brothers' higher end homes, a boon for the company, Yearley told Cramer.
To watch and read more about Yearley's full interview, click here.
Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su talks Sony, Microsoft
Aside from its $75 billion total addressable market, part of Advanced Micro Devices' charm — and success — comes from the chipmaker's ability to work with major clients that compete with one another, AMD President and CEO Lisa Su told Cramer on Tuesday.
"We very, very much appreciate our partnership with all of our key customers" including Microsoft, Su said in an exclusive interview. AMD works with Microsoft on its gaming consoles, the most notable of which is Xbox.
In Microsoft's earnings call for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018, CEO Satya Nadella announced that the company's games and services division topped $10 billion for the first time ever.
"I think we have a vision of where cloud computing is going and we're working closely with them," Su said. "But ... part of our strength is that we can work with all customers in terms of cloud customers as well as PC customers, and we can differentiate for each one of them. I think that's what makes us unique is, you know, we're working with both Sony and Microsoft on consoles and they both have their specific secret sauce that we're helping them do."
To watch Su's full interview, click here.
NXP Semiconductor CEO on auto market
NXP Semiconductor President and CEO Richard Clemmer knows that weakness in the U.S. auto market is weighing on his company's stock, but he stressed that U.S. car sales aren't the be-all, end-all for his chipmaker in his interview with Cramer.
"Now, the problem is, when you think about it, the car industry in China is 60 percent larger than the car industry in [the] U.S. The car industry in Europe is 22 percent larger than the car industry in the U.S.," Clemmer said on Tuesday. "So looking at Silicon Valley['s] number of cars may not be the absolute best indicator as to what's going on in the car industry."
To find out more about what's going on in NXP's side of the car industry and how the company is driving shareholder returns, click here for Clemmer's full interview.
Lightning round: Don't try to defend these stocks
In Cramer's lightning round, he zipped through his take on callers' favorite stocks:
Leidos Holdings: "National security. Those stocks have not been working. If you want to do national security, I think the stocks have peaked. I would go after Raytheon – my charitable trust owns it – but it is a very hard stock to own in a very difficult group to own."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Honeywell, Emerson Electric, Microsoft and Raytheon.
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