With the Federal Reserve making a monumental move to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years, Jim Cramer breathed a sigh of relief as the market rallied in response.
So, that was it?
Yes. The Fed basically said that it would raise rates very slowly, perhaps only four times next year and it could be less than that if the economy weakens. So, instead of the old days when the Fed would sequentially raise rates in lockstep, the Fed has decided to use common sense and see if the hikes do any damage first.
Cramer interpreted this action as the Fed acknowledging that things aren’t perfect right now, and pretty much never are, but they look a heck of a lot better than they did when rates were knocked so low in the first place. It was a sign of confidence in the economy, rather than a “we have to do this, sorry.”
“In other words, the economy more than deserves to get out of intensive care, and it might go to a regular hospital bed for a while and then go into rehab until it is totally healthy. Rehab being rate hikes spaced out over time, with some pain if we get too much gain,” the “Mad Money” host said.
With the Fed taking a cautious approach to raising rates in the future, Cramer thinks this could buy a few more months for investors to focus on individual companies again. That is positive news and was clearly reflected in the averages on Wednesday.
What can investors expect to see from companies going forward?
First, almost 15 percent of companies in the S&P 500 (INDEX: .SPX) will earn more with higher rates, namely the banks. They make more money off of customer deposits, and the move will allow banks to charge more on loans, too. The winners in this group are Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) because of their large deposit bases.
Another chunk of the stock market will go back to feeling the pain of lower oil prices, which will mean more stress in the system and more oil companies defaulting.
One group of stocks that will go up on a higher federal funds rate is the infamous growth stocks that Cramer calls FANG: Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Netflix(NASDAQ: NFLX) and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL). These stocks seem to transcend the gravitational pull of the economy now that investors will be looking for growth in equities, again.
“The insane love affair with these kinds of stocks will become ever more torrid now that the big bad event is out of the way. There is literally not much news between now and year end, so a lot of growth managers who have been holding back from buying don’t need to hold back anymore,” Cramer said. (Tweet This)
Now that the long awaited and debated rate hike is here, with it comes word that the economic patient can’t say in intensive care forever. And Cramer is elated that it is finally over.