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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "If I was a broker, I'd be telling my clients to sell, " Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday, as he explained the thinking behind today's post-election selloff.
Brokers are always looking for excuses to get their clients trading so they can earn more commissions, and Tuesday's presidential election provided them with plenty.
First, there was an expectation by some in the markets that Mitt Romney may actually pull off a win, and those trades in coal, defense and health-care stocks are now being unwound in a hurry. Second, there are still worries in Europe, as Germany announced Wednesday that even its strong economy may be showing signs of a slowdown.If those two excuses don't convince a client to sell, Cramer said there's still the elephant in the room, the fiscal cliff. Nothing changed in last night's election, he noted, the President is still the President and the Democrats and Republicans still control their respective houses of Congress. That means the fiscal cliff is just as likely to occur today as it was last week. Thus it would only be wise, a broker would say, to take some profits ahead of what could be increased capital gains taxes next year. That thinking would lead brokers to advise selling the big winners, said Cramer, stocks like retail and of course, Apple (AAPL), a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. That would also lead to selling in the big dividend stocks including AT&T (T) and ConEd (ED) because as both of those companies' dividends would be affected by the fiscal cliff. "Raise cash and avoid Europe" are likely the mantras being repeated by brokers nationwide, said Cramer, which makes today's selloff totally logical. It's just too easy for the brokers to pass up, he concluded.
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Alan McKim, chairman and CEO of Clean Harbors (CLH), a company whose stock rose 3% Wednesday after the company reported strong earnings. Cramer last spoke with McKim last week after Clean Harbors announced the acquisition of privately held Safety Kleen.
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