As long as President Trump believes China pays the price for tariffs, he's only going to continue to take a hard-line approach to negotiations, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. That means investors need their portfolios to have as little exposure to China as possible.
Cramer said Trump took ominous turn when he decided to ban Huawei. No other American president would ever intentionally hurt U.S. semiconductor companies in order to punish a Chinese company, he said, but that's exactly what has happened. He said the stocks of Micron Technologies (MU) - Get Report , Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report , and Xilinx (XLNX) - Get Report all fell sharply on the news, as did Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report , which has banned Huawei devices from accessing key Android services. All of these companies may see earnings estimates cut as a result.
Will China retaliate against Apple (AAPL) - Get Report ? Cramer said he still thinks it unlikely, but it is certainly now within the realm of possibility. The U.S. has a plan for 5G wireless, Cramer noted, and the President will not cede leadership to China.
Retail and apparel makers sent a letter to Washington today urging that the tariffs come to end before seriously damaging their business. But Cramer noted that Trump blames these companies for leaving the U.S. in the first place, and is not likely to take mercy on them.
Tariffs might not be the end of the world, Cramer concluded, but we now must immunize our portfolios against them.
Cramer and the AAP team have some thoughts ahead of retailers' earnings this week. 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.
Social Media Winners
There are four big social media stocks to choose from, Cramer told viewers, but which one is right for your portfolio? Cramer ranked them to find out.
Coming in at No. 1 is Facebook (FB) - Get Report , the Action Alerts PLUS holding that was mired in scandals last year, but is now up 40% for 2019. Cramer said Facebook is not only the best stock in the group, it represents the best value.
No. 2 is Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report , a stock that's been marking time for months. Cramer said this battleground stock has been cleaning up its act and he likes the company's new focus on making Twitter a nice place to be and catering to live events.
A close third is the newly minted Pinterest (PINS) - Get Report . Cramer said this company has 54% revenue growth and investors shouldn't be worried that it's spending most of those revenues to aggressively grow their position overseas.
Luckin Coffee IPO
From a pure business sense, Luckin is an amazing story. The Chinese market is severely under-penetrated when it comes to coffee. The Chinese drink less than 2% of what the average American drinks in a year, which is a huge opportunity. That's how Luckin has gone from a single location 18 months ago to 2,370 locations in 28 cities. That's one new store opening every 3.5 hours.
But Cramer cautioned that the investment world is littered with the remains of failed hyper-growth entities like Luckin. The strategy assumes the model is absolutely perfect and will need no modifications going forward. To say this strategy is risky is an understatement.
Making matters worse, Luckin is losing a ton of money. At its current rate, the company will spend everything it raised last week in less than 24 months.
Cramer said Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report is the No. 1 coffee chain in China and they are not only profitable, they've been operating in China for years. The company takes a much more manageable approach to growth, and that makes all the difference in the world.
On Real Money, Cramer says managed care stocks can withstand China, politics and a slowdown in the economy. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Take-Two Interactive
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again sat down with Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) - Get Report , which saw its shares fall 3.2% on the day.
Zelnick explained that Take-Two reserves its cash for three purposes: to fund organic growth, for acquisitions and to return capital to shareholders when it sees value in its shares. The company has been seeing a lot of value, he said, which is why it has spent $360 million on share buybacks.
When asked about the business, Zelnick said there is a lot of good news as the industry moves towards interactive entertainment that looks every bit as good as live-action movies. He said other trends, like free-to-play titles, are also exciting as they bring new gamers into the market. Advances in streaming technologies allows gamers to play without investing in expensive consoles.
Take-Two's job continues to be to deliver hits and elite consumers, Zelnick said, but that excitement doesn't just happen at release time. There are now over 250 million people watching eSports, and good things continue to happen in the eSports world.
What to Buy
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer answered the question of what investors should be buying as we brace for both a prolonged trade war and a possible slowdown in our economy. He said the managed care providers might be just the group investors have been looking for.
The managed care stocks had been crushed after several Democratic presidential candidates began calling for a single payer model that promised "Medicare for all." But Cramer noted then, and now, that these proposals simply don't have enough support in Washington to make them a reality.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Iridium Communications (IRDM) - Get Report , Wayfair (W) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report , Okta (OKTA) - Get Report and Lululemon Athletica (LULU) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in GOOGL, AAPL, FB, AMZN, UNH, CVS.