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 Apple Inc. (AAPL) 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 Facebook, Inc. Class A 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
What lessons could Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company Report learn from Apple? Both companies reported earnings yesterday, and Cramer said the differences between the two were stunning.
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 Domino's Pizza, Inc. Report , GrubHub (GRUB) - Get Grubhub, Inc. Report , McCormick (MKC) - Get McCormick & Company, Incorporated (MKC) Report and Tyson Foods (TSN) - Get Tyson Foods, Inc. Class A 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 Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report , Electronic Arts (EA) - Get Electronic Arts Inc. Report , Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) - Get Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Report and accessory maker Logitech (LOGI) - Get Logitech International S.A. 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 Amazon.com, Inc. 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 AGCO Corporation 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.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Dropbox (DBX) - Get Dropbox, Inc. Class A Report , Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Texas Instruments Incorporated Report , TerraForm Power (TERP) - Get TerraForm Power, Inc. Class A Report and Dominion Midstream Partners (DM) - Get DESKTOP METAL, INC. Report .
Cramer was bearish on MaxLinear (MXL) - Get MaxLinear inc Report , American Capital Agency (AGNC) - Get AGNC Investment Corp. Report , Annaly Capital (NLY) - Get Annaly Capital Management, Inc. Report , World Fuel Services (INT) - Get World Fuel Services Corporation Report , Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) - Get Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. Report , Pitney Bowes (PBI) - Get Pitney Bowes Inc. Report and Vodafone Group (VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Sponsored ADR Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, FB, AMZN.