What matters most to the stock market isn't what's happening in Washington, D.C., Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. It's the fundamentals of individual companies. That's why even a partial trade deal with China has more of an impact than hearings on impeachment -- a trade deal could have a real impact on earnings.
The most pressing issue for the Chinese is pork, Cramer explained, which is good news for Tyson Foods (TSN) - Get Tyson Foods, Inc. Class A Report. A trade deal is also positive for semiconductor makers like Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report and for Chinese gaming in Macau, which is why Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN) Report and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) - Get Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) Report both ended Wednesday strong.
It's not all roses for everyone, however. Cramer said the rally in retail is getting tired, although Macy's (M) - Get Macy's Inc Report and Kohl's Stores (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Report rose.
Cramer was bullish on Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report, which received an upgrade Wednesday, along with the club stocks of Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report. Among the only negatives on the day was FedEx (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report, plunging 10%, on yet another disappointing quarter for the package giant.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking at everything from earnings and tariffs to the Federal Reserve. 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.
Impeachment and the Stock Market
The impeachment process in Washington is a momentous event for our nation, but not necessarily for Wall Street, Cramer explained to viewers. Thus far, the proceedings have largely been a non-issue for stocks and there's a good reason for that. Given our current political climate, it's almost certain President Trump will not be removed from office.
When President Clinton was impeached in 1998, things were different, Cramer recalled. Back then, Republicans controlled the Senate, making the outcome less certain. But even in those conditions, it would have been a mistake to get scared out of stocks and sell everything. Investors who did that missed out on huge gains.
So while Trump may indeed be only the third president to be impeached, it has no bearing on your portfolio. Stocks are still the only game in town, Cramer said, and our economy is strong. There's always a bull market somewhere and right now there are plenty of strong stocks.
The More Things Change...
History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes, Cramer told viewers as he looked into the best-performing stocks during the Clinton impeachment in 1999 to see how they compared to impeachment today.
The best performing stock was that of Apple undefined, a stock Cramer said worked then and still works now. Next was Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report, which was at the center of the Internet boom and the bust that followed. Today, Cisco has reinvented itself and sports a 3% yield.
Other big winners in 1999 included Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report and Home Depot (HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Report, three more stocks Cramer said he'd still buy today. The same with Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get QUALCOMM Incorporated Report, which also made the list, and Verisign (VRSN) - Get VeriSign, Inc. Report, the former domain name registrar that now offers a host of Internet services.
Finally, Cramer said that Lam Research (LRCX) - Get Lam Research Corporation (LRCX) Report is another winner, up 111% for the year and over 500% since 1999. Cramer's takeaway for viewers? It took a long time to recover from the dot-com crash, but a lot of what was working 20 years ago still works today.
Trump and Trade
For another read on what's happening in Washington, Cramer checked in with CNBC Washington reporter Eamon Javers, who was fresh off a conversation with former Cramer co-host Larry Kudlow, now serving as director of the National Economic Council under Trump.
Javers said that according to Kudlow, veteran diplomat Henry Kissinger is now involved with the Chinese trade talks. Kissinger, 93, is a well-respected figure in China, as he was instrumental in opening Chinese markets to the U.S. under President Nixon.
Javers also said that, according to his sources, Chinese President Xi prefers dealing with Trump. Trump, he said, isn't pressing as hard over human rights or climate issues, focusing instead on business issues and trade.
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Tracking FedEx Troubles
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer dove into the huge disappointment at FedEx this quarter. The delivery giant posted weaker-than-expected earnings and slashed its forecasts, sending shares lower by 10%. But the real problem, Cramer said, is that management still thinks they have things under control.
Among the company's major missteps this quarter were misjudging demand on Cyber Monday, misjudging global commerce demand, poor execution of their acquisition in Europe and turning Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report from a customer to a competitor.
Add to that the company's aging fleet of aircraft and a host of other worries, and Cramer said he's surprised FedEx made any money at all. He said the company needs to stop worrying about profits and invest for our new online world, something management has been reluctant to even acknowledge is a problem.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Wednesday evening:
Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) - Get Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report: "I like that one but I like Nvidia more. They're growing faster."
Microsoft: "They're going an amazing job. "
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in NVDA, KSS, FB, AAPL, CSCO, MSFT, HD, LRCX, AMZN.