Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 8:01 a.m. EDT on Real Money on July 11. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Sure, it always feels great for the bulls when the futures are ripping. You get all of that juice from overseas. People are feeling that Fed chief Ben Bernanke didn't mean what he said. The dollar is going down, too, which even helps commodities. So let's go buy stocks!
There's only one problem. The travails of individual companies, in dealing with this new environment, are about to come on display -- and the facts, often sadly, do not fit with the story. The stocks that are being swept up by the futures -- the stocks that we might want to buy because of today's snapshot of the dollar, the 10-year U.S. Treasury and the price of oil -- may not fit the patterns people are trying to catch. In fact, they might be performing in the opposite manner from what you would expect.
Take two different companies in two different industries that have had the misfortune to report during periods when the snapshot said, "Buy, buy, buy." I'm talking about Paychex (PAYX) and Nabors (NBR).Paychex is a terrific payroll-processing company that grows earnings in four ways. First, when more jobs get created, there are more checks to be processed. Second, when more companies get created, there are more company payroll accounts to be processed. Third, the company profits when more products are added to those who take the payroll processing, like 401k processing and advice for tax law changes. Fourth, and perhaps most important: the float. How much can Paychex make on the $4 billion or so it has to invest between the time it gets the money and the time it delivers the checks? That's the float, and it is a bonanza for companies like Paychex -- unless, that is, interest rates are so low that they can barely make much money at all off that float, meaning they make pretty much what you make right now in your checking account. Paychex is the perfect microcosm for this moment when it comes to the Fed. It's a catch-22 microcosm, because -- as has been made clear by Wednesday's minutes from the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting -- Ben Bernanke isn't going to raise interest rates through a slowdown in bond-buying until there is more hiring and more business formation.
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