Don't let all of the fretting about tariffs and trade freak you out, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday, but do be on your guard. As earnings seasons kicks into high gear, all but the industrials have posted strong numbers so far, Cramer noted, and that's enough to keep the bulls running on Wall Street.
When it comes to tech, there's the cloud and then there's everything else. That's why shares of Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report were able to rally on strong cloud revenues, while chipmaker Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) - Get Report was deemed too levered to China. The cloud is also why Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report was able to soar 3.8% on a monster earnings.
Beyond tech, Cramer said the banks were able to rally on a spike in interest rates. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report remains a winner, along the financials. Healthcare is also seeing strong earnings pin action, with Abbott Labs (ABT) - Get Report and Unitedhealth Group (UNH) - Get Report among the standouts.
Cramer was less optimistic on General Electric (GE) - Get Report , noting this stock is still a "work in progress." Overall, he said the industrials are having a hard time overcoming the skepticism surrounding global trade.
Cramer and the AAP team talk about how the banks are shrugging off geopolitical tensions and concerns about trade. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Hasbro
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Brian Goldner, chairman and CEO of toymaker Hasbro (HAS) - Get Report , which today posted a monster 19-cents-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected revenues. Shares closed up 12.9% on the news.
Goldner said the Toys R Us liquidation is now complete and his company is once again focused on growth and adding great new products to their lineup. By next year, he said Hasbro will be back to growth and rising gross margins.
When asked about the impact of tariffs, Goldner said Hasbro has already been moving some of its manufacturing out of China and into other countries like India, Vietnam and even Brazil. They also continue to expand their U.S. production to strengthen their global footprint.
Goldner was also excited for his company's recent acquisition of the Power Rangers franchise. He said fans can look forward to new products in 2019 and should expect the full treatment, with media, toys, games and movies coming in 2020. Hasbro has also seen its best year ever for Dungeons & Dragons, Goldner noted, and new mobile games will be coming soon for that legacy franchise as well.
Abbott Labs Shows How It's Done
If you don't already have shares of Abbott Labs in your portfolio, now's the time to buy, Cramer told viewers, because the medical device maker just showed Wall Street what a perfect conference call looks like.
Abbott's conference call with analysts started like many others, Cramer explained. The company went over their quarterly numbers, which were excellent, then reiterated their strategy, explaining how they've meticulously shaped their portfolio to deliver the 7% organic growth they promised. Then, management went segment by segment, generating excitement in each area, and laying out their roadmap for continued growth.
By the time the question-and-answer segment began, management was exuding confidence and explaining how they deliberately shaped the entire company to provide these stellar results. While Abbott may be opportunistic about future acquisitions, the company said, their biggest opportunities are in their own product pipeline.
Executive Decision: McCormick
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Lawrence Kurzius, chairman, president and CEO of spicemaker McCormick (MKC) - Get Report , who last appeared on Mad Money a year ago, following the company's acquisition of brands like French's Mustard and Frank's Red Hot.
Kurzius reminded viewers that the acquisition last year was not universally popular, but so far McCormick has seen tremendous success with it. He said these were fantastic food brands locked in a non-food company, but now with McCormick, they're getting the attention and exposure they deserve.
Frank's Hot Sauce has not seen a national TV campaign in seven years, Kurzius said, yet it's a lifestyle brand that's increasingly popular with millennials. McCormick plans to put Frank's back in the spotlight, both on TV and in social media.
When asked about tariffs, Kurzius said McCormick is unaffected so far; they use Canadian mustard seeds and tomatoes in some of their mustards and ketchups.
With so many things going well, Cramer said McCormick remains a terrific buy.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer pondered whether stock picking may finally back in style. He explained that for decades, the conventional wisdom was that half of a stock's performance was tied to its sector, but the other half was all about management's ability to execute.
But with the rise of index funds and ETFs, many stocks simply traded in lock-step, no matter how well the company executed. That was, until this quarter.
In the oil service group, Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report delivered excellent results, while rival Halliburton (HAL) - Get Report remained tied to the Permian Basin, where more pipelines are still needed. The stocks reflected this dichotomy.
In toys, we just learned how Hasbro has moved beyond Toys 'R Us, while rival Mattel (MAT) - Get Report seemingly has no plan to recover. In the industrials, Honeywell (HON) - Get Report shined, while Illinois Toolworks (ITW) - Get Report disappointed again.
In all of these cases, Wall Street took notice, and the stocks performed as you'd expect them to. Stock picking may indeed be back in style.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in MSFT, GOOGLE, JPM, ABT, UNH, SLB, HON, ITW.