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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Politics is overrated as a way to predict stock performance, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Monday on the eve of the presidential election.
What really matters to stock prices, he said, is management and a company's business model, not who happens to occupy the White House.
When it came to technology, both Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and IBM (IBM) made the decision five years ago to focus less on hardware and more on software and services. Yet, IBM shares are up 75% since then while Hewlett lost 71% during the same time. Why the difference? Execution and management.During the Obama administration, Apple (AAPL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, soared, while Intel (INTC) floundered. Why? Apple chose to focus on mobile while Intel didn't. Many critics cite President Obama as being bad for unemployment, and they'd be right if you looked at shares of JC Penney (JCP), Radio Shack (RSH) or Best Buy (BBY), but not if you considered Wal-Mart (WMT), Costco (COST) or Home Depot (HD). Execution matters, said Cramer. Whether it's the banks or the drug stocks, two more sectors impacted by Obama, Cramer said investors will find winners, like JPMorgan Chase (JPM), another Action Alerts PLUS name, and losers like Merck (MRK). The same is true in the consumer good sector, with Clorox (CLX) soaring under Obama, while Procter & Gamble (PG) barely budged. Cramer told investors they need to focus less on politics and more on the companies they own.
The Difference Is CarbonWhile both presidential candidates want America to become energy self-sufficient, only one thinks we should do so with fossil fuels, Cramer told viewers -- which is why if you think Mitt Romney will pull off an upset Tuesday, there's a whole host of stocks they should consider buying. The difference between the candidates comes down to carbon. Obama hates it, while Romney feels we need energy independence by any means necessary, which means using more coal and oil along with natural gas as a surface fuel. That's why Cramer said Romney investors should consider stocks like Peabody Energy (BTU) and Arch Coal (ACI) in the coal patch, along with Schlumberger (SLB) and Halliburton (HAL) in the oil patch.
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