Stock Market Today With Jim Cramer: Nuance Deal Windfall for Microsoft

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Stocks fell Monday but came off earlier lows as investors prepared for the first-quarter earnings season.

TheStreet’s Katherine Ross discussed breaking news in the stock market. Cramer spoke about Microsoft’s latest acquisition, the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike and markets on Monday.

Microsoft Nuance Deal

Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Report on Monday agreed to acquire speech-recognition firm Nuance Communications  (NUAN) – Get Report for $16 billion, or $56 a share. The deal is Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition since its $27 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016.

This past week, Wedbush said Apple, Microsoft and Nuance are the top three tech companies to watch as first-quarter earnings season begins.

Cramer said Microsoft’s Satya Nadella told him it’s not about personal data,  it’s about getting the doctors to spend far more time with patients, far less time doing paperwork.

Fed Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said it’s highly unlikely that they would raise rates this year in an interview with CBS on Sunday evening.

At the March meeting, the U.S. central bank projected interest rates would remain near zero through at least through 2023 and upgraded its outlook for economic growth. It also said inflation likely would rise beyond 2% in the coming months. 

Cramer said investors need to buy the weakness when the Fed hikes interest rates next time because these rates hikes are anything but disastrous and it’s an opportunity to put that money to work.

Markets on Monday

The Dow declined 113 points, or 0.33%, to 33,688, the S&P 500 fell 0.13% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.38%.

Cramer said investors will be awaiting Jerome Powell’s comments on inflation. “I want to be a buyer here and call your attention to stocks like Costco  (COST) – Get Report and Walmart  (WMT) – Get Report.”

Costco, Walmart and Microsoft are key holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer adds or removes stocks from his portfolio? Learn more now.