CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday applauded Facebook for its planned efforts to give people in troubled communities greater access to the digital age of money.
The social media giant announced that it will dive into the cryptocurrency world with an initiative called Libra, a nonprofit independent of the company expected to launch in the first half of 2020. The project has support from payments companies like Visa, Stripe, PayPal and others.
“Now this is a genuinely positive thing. I have no problem with companies doing good things to improve their public image,” the “Mad Money” host said. “And ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if Libra turns out to be a very big deal for Facebook shareholders, giving you still one more reason to buy the stock if you needed any more to do so.”
Facebook over has “done a lot to ruin its reputation,” Cramer said. The company has faced scrutiny from both Washington, D.C. and the public over its data and privacy practices.
“I think this Libra non-profit initiative run by David Marcus – the former president of PayPal … who is a champion for privacy and, yes, a rectitude when it comes to the customer – I think this will actually work,” he said.
Libra can serve as a monetary alternative for individuals in the inner city who are in “banking deserts” and others in foreign countries with unstable currencies, Cramer said. Check cashing operations have a “really pernicious influence on poorer neighborhoods,” he said.
While the Libra currency will be run as a separate entity of Facebook, the social platform will launch a digital wallet app called Calibra for users to store money for free and make transactions through Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook won’t profit directly from Libra, but has set up its own digital wallet called Calibra to store and exchange coins.
“Facebook isn’t trying to make any money on this, which could launch next year … [and it’s] right to show Congress that hundreds of millions of people still trust them and need them,” Cramer said. “They’re really desperate for better PR, who can blame them, because they don’t want to be raked over the coals by legislators worldwide for the rest of their lives.”
Facebook’s move into cryptocurrency is a way to save face, but the program could cut banks and credit cards out of the mix, he said. That’s why payments companies are getting behind it, he added.
“It would be better if Facebook didn’t do anything shady to begin with, but the whole business model is premised on using your data to come up with targeted advertising,” Cramer said.
Get his full thoughts here
The China trade
Cramer welcomed Tuesday’s China-fueled rally that sent the stock market higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 353 points, the advanced 0.97% and the Nasdaq Composite moved 1.39% as investors anticipate a U.S.-China trade deal and that the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates on Wednesday.
But the host doubts a trade agreement will materialize when President Donald Trump meets with President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit that begins next week in Japan.
“Because we’ve seen this movie before. I think President Xi called Trump like he did before the Buenos Aires meeting, when he tried to stop the first round of tariffs from rising to 25%,” Cramer said. “But then the talks broke down and the tariffs went up. I think we can see a repeat.”
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President Donald Trump has the right goal in mind to settle ongoing trade issues with China, but his approach could have far-reaching consequences on the U.S. economy, Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz told CNBC.
It’s time to hold the Beijing’s feet to the fire and push them to honor international trade standards of the World Trade Organization, yet tariffs on billions of dollars of imports from the country are hurting local economies, he added.
“I think that’s gonna ultimately damage the U.S. economy if they go on too long,” he said in a sit down with Cramer. “The president’s used them as an effective tool to get China to the table, but I think we need to use caution as to how deep and long we use that as a tool because it’ll definitely create a problem with our economy.”
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The doubters should wake up and really look at the results that Starbucks and Dunkin’ Brands are churning out.
After both stocks lost much of their 2018 their, the two coffee chains have been “defying the bears” with their big runs in 2019, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
Shares of Dunkin’ have surged 25% year to date, while Starbucks have rocketed 29%. The host suggests investors add the companies to their shopping lists.
“Sometimes, you need to be disciplined. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Brands are two terrific coffee chains, but if you don’t own them already, I think this may not be the correct moment to start building a position,” he said. “If either stock gets brought down for whatever reason … you have my blessing to start buying.”
Go deeper here
Off the charts
Cramer takes a look at the chart action in Lululemon and Under Armour as interpreted by Stock Market Mentor founder and his RealMoney.com colleague Dan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick thinks the two stocks have more room to run after they both skyrocketed in recent weeks.
Cramer breaks down the chart analysis here
Cramer’s lightning round: I think you should buy shares of Spotify
In Cramer’s lightning round, the “Mad Money” host zips through his thoughts on callers’ stock picks.
Atlassian: “I say they’re fantastic and I like those guys.” Buy, buy, buy.
Spotify: “I think you should buy Spotify. I think they’re doing a remarkable job and I like the podcast decision.”
Prologis: “I think that that stock is terrific.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Facebook. Correction: This article was updated to reflect the buy calls that Cramer and Fitzpatrick have for Lululemon and Under Armour.
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