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Is it really worth selling a widely held stock on the possibility of an interest rate hike, only to try and get back in a few dollars lower? That was the question Jim Cramer posited to his Mad Money viewers Monday as he tried to put into context what a rate hike would really mean to the stock market.
Cramer said the markets have weathered a variety of selloffs over the past few years, with the worst of them being the financial panic of 2008. But back then there was real systemic risk that our banks would go belly up and ATM machines stop providing money. That's the time to do some major-league selling, Cramer said. But that's not what's happening today.
Then there was the 21% decline in 2011, this time caused by the threat of overseas debt defaults. This decline started in Italy, but would've have ripple effects in Spain, Portugal and the rest of Europe. But this situation is also not what we have today.
There were also a few smaller individual crises, include worries about China last year, or the December interest rate hike last year, or the worries over the oil stocks in February or even the Brexit vote this summer. All of these saw modest market declines, but not ones that lasted for any length of time.
If forced to put a number on it, Cramer said the markets might fall 7% from Thursday's highs on a surprise interest rate hike. That may sound like a lot, but for an Action Alerts PLUS stock like Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report , Cramer said the effect would be a mere $5 decline.
So investors need to ask themselves, is it really worth it to try and dart out and back into Apple on the hopes of making a quick $5 a share? For most investors, the answer is no.
Does the Fed Matter?
If the Federal Reserve does decide to raise interest rates, it won't really matter, will it? That was the question Cramer said he pondered with several random people over the weekend. And while he agreed that yes, a quarter point rate hike shouldn't matter to the markets, in reality, it likely will.
That's because some investors view the stock market through a rational lens. If the Fed told us it's dependent on data and the data looks bad, then obviously there won't be a rate hike, the rational among us will conclude.
But Cramer noted that it doesn't mater what we think will happen, only what actually happens. So if the Fed does decide to act now, then the selling will begin, selling that will beget more selling as the worry causes more worry and becomes self-fulfilling.
That's why Cramer concluded that it's only safe to go back into the water once the rate hike has actually happened and, more importantly, everyone accepts that the rate hike happened, even if they didn't think it would.
Buy These Stocks
What should investors be buying when the big Fed-induced selloff begins? Cramer said he's learned the best stocks often go down the hardest in such a selloff, but they're also the first to rebound. That's why he's prepared a list of 10 stocks he thinks will fall fast but rise again in a big way. These stocks have secular growth stories behind them, Cramer said, and don't need the Federal Reserve to help them grow.
In the tech space, Cramer is a fan of chipmakers Micron Technologies (MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. Report , Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Qualcomm Inc Report and Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report , along with Microship Technology (MCHP) - Get Microchip Technology Incorporated Report , a potential takeover target, and Applied Materials (AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report in the semiconductor equipment space.
Outside of tech, Cramer recommends Edwards Lifesciences (EW) - Get Edwards Lifesciences Corporation Report and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) - Get Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Report in the healthcare space, and PVH (PVH) - Get PVH Corp. Report and Urban Outfitters (URBN) - Get Urban Outfitters, Inc. Report in the retail sector.
Rounding out the list is cyber-security player Symantec (SYMC) - Get Symantec Corporation Report , cloud communications provider Twilio (TWLO) - Get Twilio, Inc. Class A Report and also Acacia Communications (ACIA) - Get Acacia Communications, Inc. Report .
Know Your IPO
In his "Know Your IPO" segment, Cramer cycled back to Impinj (PI) - Get Impinj, Inc. Report , which came public in late July at $14 a share but has since rocketed to over $34 today, just two months later.
Impinj manufactures RFID technology that helps companies keep track of their inventory wirelessly and connect to our emerging Internet of things. Based on the company's estimates, 5.3 billion items were tagged with RFID tags last year, a number that is expected to balloon to 20 billion by 2020.
Impinj has applications in many areas, from retail to healthcare to automotive. Even airports can use Impinj technology to help track luggage.
When the company reported earnings at the end of August, it delivered an 8-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 36% rise in revenues with robust guidance to boot. However, Cramer cautioned Impinj is a small company in new markets, which makes it speculative. Shares are also trading at a lofty five times sales.
That said, Cramer noted that on a marketwise pullback, Impinj is the type of company investors should be seeking.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Report , Vector Group (VGR) - Get Vector Group Ltd. Report , Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) - Get IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Report , International Paper (IP) - Get International Paper Company Report , AbbVie (ABBV) - Get AbbVie, Inc. Report and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Abbott Laboratories Report .
Executive Decision: Jim Foster
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jim Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Labs (CRL) - Get Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. Report , the contract research company helping biotech and big pharma get their breakthrough drugs to market.
Foster explained that Charles River's growing portfolio of research services help drugmakers make better go/no-go decisions quicker and help get safer drugs to market. No matter what the political environment may be for drugmakers, Foster said the capital markets are always willing to pay for innovation.
On such innovation Charles River is working on is humanized mice, which are lab mice that more accurately predict how drugs will respond in humans. Since mice have shorter lifespans, how those drugs respond over time. It's all about getting better information quicker, Foster said.
When asked about the advances being made for diseases like cancer, Foster said the research community is making enormous progress and he expects to see great strides being made over the next decade.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL.