Cramer Remix: How this drug stock put the bear case to rest

For CNBC’s Jim Cramer, it’s often worth examining stocks that don’t get dragged down by broader market declines. On Friday, one such stock was Eli Lilly, which surged 1.8 percent to $115.02 a share.

“In fact, Lilly has now been running for nine straight sessions. It’s the best-acting stock in the entire S&P 500,” the “Mad Money” host said. “That would be incredible even in a healthy market, but in the middle of a horrific sell-off, one based on inflation worries, this is downright stunning.”

But it wasn’t always rosy for Eli Lilly. A few months ago, the bears pounced on the pharmaceutical giant with theories that one of its key franchises, the diabetes business, was going to be weakened by industry competition.

Sure enough, Eli Lilly managed to turn the story on its head, announcing a series of good news related to its diabetes drugs and spinning off Elanco, its animal health business.

“Bears just simply underestimated this great American institution and they should have to pay for it and be called out,” Cramer said. “The next time someone tells you a scary story about how a high-quality company is going to get poleaxed by the competition, remember what I just described about Eli Lilly. The bears freaked you out [with a] nightmarish tale of market share losses, but it turns out that the story had nothing to do with reality. They just hadn’t done their homework.”

The stock market was due for this sell-off, but the Federal Reserve certainly had a hand in kickstarting the pain, Cramer said Friday.

“That’s exactly what happens when the chairman of the Federal Reserve tells us he may need to overshoot with his rate hikes to ensure inflation is kept in check,” he said.

Cramer was referring to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Thursday comments on being “a long way” from neutral in terms of interest rates, a sign that the central bank was serious about its planned future rate hikes.

“It’s going to be hard for stocks to stabilize until he walks back those comments, or at least clarifies that he’s going to make his decisions based on the data rather than giving us a series of lockstep, autopilot rate hikes that the economy, as strong as it is with these employment reports, may not be able to handle,” Cramer said.

And with the Labor Department’s latest nonfarm payroll report showing lower job creation than many expected, Cramer said a bit of wage inflation wouldn’t be as detrimental to the economy as the Fed seems to think.

Still, he admitted that the Fed wasn’t the only force putting pressure on stocks. The U.S. dollar’s strength, higher bond yields and climbing mortgage rates all contributed to the declines, he said.

“I see housing, autos and now, after this week, maybe even retail slowing, so it’s entirely possible the Fed is ahead of the curve already when it comes to stamping out inflation,” Cramer said. “In the end, there’s only so much they can control, and these three industries really tell us that the rate hikes are already working like they’re supposed to.”

With that in mind, he turned to his game plan for the week ahead, which will include some key economic data and big bank earnings reports. Click here for more.

Cloudera and Hortonworks’ upcoming merger could put the combined company on a par with — or even a step above — legacy software-and-cloud provider Oracle, Cloudera CEO Thomas Reilly told CNBC on Friday.

“A lot of the excitement about this merger is people expect us to be the next Oracle,” Reilly, who will become CEO of the new Cloudera after the merger closes, told Cramer in an exclusive interview.

“Data’s of much more volume and people want to do artificial intelligence and machine learning against that data. That’s where we’re going to compete and that’s how we become the next Oracle of the future,” Reilly continued.

Reilly added that Oracle has been a “good partner” to Cloudera for a long time, reselling Cloudera’s software to clients and partnering with the company on work in the cloud, which he said will continue.

But “Cloudera plus Hortonworks, [when] we’re together, will be the only provider delivering our software across all the major cloud guys,” he said. “We work on Amazon, Microsoft, Google, the IBM Cloud, and that’s our value proposition to enterprises. They can work across all the cloud providers.”

To watch and read more about Reilly’s full interview, click here.

As stocks continued their declines on Friday, Cramer noticed one of his most dreaded narratives bubbling up in the market: “the death of retail.”

“According to this new negative theory, the retail stocks are being hit with a perfect storm of negativity, which makes them far too dangerous to own,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Worse, the theory “can’t be defeated even by good numbers or a decent employment report, which gave us nice job growth with very little inflation,” he said. “Remember: the story doesn’t need to be true for it to do a lot of damage.”

The main points of the “death of retail” story are fivefold. Cramer said the Federal Reserve, oil prices, earnings comparisons, wages and the trade war with China all play a part.

Click here for the breakdown.

The cloud stocks have lost their mojo amid the market’s recent declines, but that doesn’t mean some players aren’t worth buying into the continued weakness, Cramer said Friday.

In particular, he looked at Guidewire Software, a cloud company that creates software for property and casualty insurance providers that just started transitioning its business to a cloud-based model.

“At the end of the day, these guys still dominate this one business,” Cramer said. “They have limited competition. No one seems to want this market other than them. The transition to the cloud is inevitable and it’s going to make them a fortune.”

So while right now might not be the time to buy shares of Guidewire, the stock will start looking a lot more attractive to Cramer as it goes down.

“Guidewire is one that maybe you should buy at the $85 level,” he said. “The whole market is getting crushed right now, especially the cloud stocks, so please let it come in. If it keeps getting hit, you can buy it. If it never pulls back enough, just say you missed it and move on. But remember: the cloud is still the place to be.

In Cramer’s lightning round, he rattled off his take on callers’ favorite stocks:

Camping World Holdings: “I think it trades with Thor, frankly, whether it should or not, and Thor hit another 52-week low today, so I am going to say not yet, not yet, not yet.”

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals: “No, man. If you’re going to do that, you want to go high end. I want you [in] Amgen, which my charitable trust owns. Amgen’s got this drug, Aimovig, which is taking the world by storm. It’s an anti-migraine drug. Amgen is the one you want.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Amazon, Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet and Amgen.

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