Until there's a clear winner in the trade war with China, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers, investors should expect a lot more volatility in the stock market. The forecast, he said, is still likely to be delicious gains followed by maximum pain.
It's clear that President Trump is willing to sacrifice some of our best industrial companies, at least over the short term, in the name of fair trade, Cramer said.
With the Chinese economy showing signs of slowing, Trump may be willing to increase the stakes even more for maximum pressure. What would a win on trade look like? Cramer said allowing U.S. companies to operate in China without the need for a joint partnership that steals our trade secrets would be a good start.
With the industrial stocks in limbo, the market turned to Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, for leadership. Cramer said while Apple marches towards a $1 trillion valuation, the stock offers little pin action for the rest of tech. While problems at Facebook (FB) - Get Report may have implications for the rest of the industry, what's good for Apple is largely just good for Apple.
But that doesn't mean there aren't buying opportunities out there. The banks are a superb investment with more interest rate hikes on the horizon, as are the retailers going into the back to school shopping season. Investors who can't handle the volatility should consider investing in index funds, Cramer added, because once the trade wars are over, the entire market will see a terrific bounce to the upside.
Cramer and the AAP team say that after the FOMC meeting, banks' valuations have room to rise. 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.
What Consumers Really Want
Cramer has long said that Apple is not a technology company, but rather a consumer goods maker, just like Procter. But while Procter struggles with changing consumer behaviors and declining customer loyalty, Apple is the exact opposite, with a 98% customer satisfaction rating on its latest iPhone and a services stream with accelerating growth.
Organic growth is the truest metric by which to value consumer stocks, Cramer explained, but while Procter delivered just 1% organic growth, Apple's remains in the double digits. Yet despite the disparity, shares of Procter trade at 17 times earnings while Apple remains at just 15 times earnings, and that's before factoring in the company's massive cash hoard.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks about his Old Spice deodorant. No, really. And Apple. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
There's no place like home, Cramer told viewers almost a year ago, when he highlighted a basket of stocks that dominated the stay-at-home economy. Now, a year later, he followed up to see if the thesis proves true.
Of the four food stocks he recommended, Domino's Pizza (DPZ) - Get Report , GrubHub (GRUB) - Get Report , McCormick (MKC) - Get Report and Tyson Foods (TSN) - Get Report , only Tyson didn't make Cramer's buy list this year. Domino's is up 45% this year alone, while GrubHub has nearly tripled over the past 18 months. McCormick's spices are essential to cooking at home and the company is only stronger with Frank's Red Hot and French's mustard.
Among the video game stocks, which included Activision Blizzard (ATVI) - Get Report , Electronic Arts (EA) - Get Report , Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) - Get Report and accessory maker Logitech (LOGI) - Get Report , Cramer said he'd still be a buyer of all of them. He noted that free-to-play games, like Fortnite, may be extremely popular, but they don't detract from the big wins in the rest of the gaming sector.
Finally, there's Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report , the retail juggernaut with shares up 53% for the year. Cramer said he's still a buyer of this Action Alerts PLUS name and would use any weakness as a buying opportunity.
Executive Decision: AGCO Corp.
In his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Martin Richenhagen, president and CEO of farm equipment maker AGCO (AGCO) - Get Report , with just posted a four-cents-a-share earnings beat with strong North American sales.
Richenhagen attributed AGCO's strength to an aging fleet of farming equipment and the fact that farmers are now investing in new equipment. He said AGCO also continues to introduce great new products that are driving sales and market share.
When asked about proposed government subsidies for farmers to offset the effects of tariffs, Richenhagen said that history has shown that farmers typically use subsidies for improved equipment.
Finally, when asked about rising commodity costs, Richenhagen explained that steel and aluminum prices are increasing, but given their focus on gross margins, those increases will be passed onto their customers.
Cramer was bearish on MaxLinear (MXL) - Get Report , American Capital Agency (AGNC) - Get Report , Annaly Capital (NLY) - Get Report , World Fuel Services (INT) - Get Report , Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) - Get Report , Pitney Bowes (PBI) - Get Report and Vodafone Group (VOD) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, FB, AMZN.