The market's been on a wild ride lately, reacting to every twist and turn in the Ukrainian crisis, but Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday that the real concern remains inflation, and things are going to get worse before they get better.
Make no mistake, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a geopolitical and humanitarian disaster. But it's not likely to have a big effect on your portfolio, at least not directly. Cramer explained that U.S. banks are not linked to Russian and European banks as they've been the past. Thus the many sanctions and financial disruptions around the globe will not affect stocks like JP Morgan Chase JPM or Goldman Sachs GS.
What the conflict in Ukraine will do, however, is raise oil prices, something that acts as a tax on everyone. And with Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell already looking to take a hard stance on inflation, higher prices at the pump can only ass fuel to the already raging fire.
The questions investors must ask is whether their stocks have gone down enough to handle what Powell or Putin can throw at them? If so, then it's safe to buy, but if not, then the prudent move remains to raise cash and wait for lower prices.
The Action Alerts PLUS team can help you navigate this uncertain market action. Get in on the conversation and get more trading strategies from the Action Alerts PLUS investment club.
Executive Decision: HP
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Enrique Lores, president and CEO of HP (HPQ) , which today delivered strong earnings, in contrast to those of rival Dell (DELL) , which last week missed earnings due to supply chain issues.
Lores said that better experiences drive better sales and happier customers, and that's what HP has been doing. HP has been benefiting from the work-from-home and hybrid economy, as workers need new PCs, printers and accessories to be able to work from anywhere.
When asked about those supply chain issues seen by Dell, Lores noted that only HP's printing division was affected this quarter, as the company has been proactive in managing problems before they arise.
HP remains committed to its shareholders, Lores added. The company has promised a $4 billion share buyback in 2022 and they completed $1.5 billion this quarter.
Lores was bullish on new products, like HP's foray into gaming peripherals and its continued work in 3D printing technologies that could one day replace single-use plastics.
Off the Charts: VIX
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Mark Sebastian, the volatility expert that knows everything there is to know about the CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the undefined.
Sebastian noted that since the beginning of the year, the S&P 500 has slowly declined, while the VIX has slowly increased, as you'd expect. Much of this rise, however, was in oil, as the "Oil VIX," known as the OVX, indicates.
Going back to previous military conflicts, like the Gulf War in 1990, Sebastian noted that eventually there will be a diversion in the VIX and the S&P 500, but he said we're not there yet. When that diversion begins, that will be the time to buy. Until then, stocks are likely to head still lower before we eventually find the bottom.
Executive Decision II: Workday
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Aneel Bhusri, chairman and co-CEO of Workday (WDAY) , the human capital management software company.
Workday shares are off 16% for the year, despite the company posting strong earnings that included a top and bottom-line earnings beat with accelerating revenue growth.
Bhusri said throughout the pandemic, companies have been intently focused on taking care of their employees. That's why Workday's software, which can assess the engagement of employees, has been so valuable for their customers.
This has been especially true in the retail sector, Bhusri said, which is a very employee-centric industry.
Workday customers also appreciate the complete nature of their platform, which includes everything from HR to payroll, to financial planning analytics and more. Workday's platform can replace multiple vendors with a single system.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said nobody will say it, but panic sellers create tremendous opportunities for the rest of us. Case in point, first thing this morning, when one stock after another was going down hard. Some people panicked, but the smart ones bought, and they were big winners by lunchtime.
Turn on the TV or read the papers and all you'll see is negativity. That's because it's easier to be negative. If you're cautious, and you're wrong, well, you're just cautious. But if you're bullish and you're wrong, you just cost people money. Cautious people seem smart, Cramer said, even if they're not.
But despite what you hear and read, when stocks are down badly and they have nothing to do with the crisis at hand, the prudent action is almost always wait it out or do some buying. Be opportunistic, Cramer concluded, let the other guys panic for no reason.
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