Is the sky falling or is it not falling? Are we in a trade war or are the president's tariffs not really a big deal? Is Gary Cohn's resignation enough to derail the big secular themes driving the market higher? These were all questions that Jim Cramer pondered with his Mad Money viewers Tuesday, as investors on Wall Street struggled to make up their minds.
Cramer admitted that the markets were indeed shocked by the announcements of tariffs last week, as well as the news Tuesday evening of Gary Cohn's resignation as President Donald Trump's top economic adviser. But in the end, it's well within the president's power to offer a compromise on trade and set the markets straight again. Until that happens, Cramer said investors need to be buying what's working.
That means loading up on the defense stocks, which will be among the first to rebound after what will likely be a down opening tomorrow. Cramer also recommended Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Report , which would benefit from and NAFTA-related trade compromise, and United Rentals (URI) - Get Report , which is purely domestic, with no Chinese exposure. Cummins (CMI) - Get Report and Paccar (PCAR) - Get Report also made Cramer's buy list.
Beyond those names, Cramer said the FANG stocks, particularly Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , remain red hot, as do the cloud names like Adobe Systems (ADBE) - Get Report and Workday (WDAY) - Get Report .
So when the selling hits tomorrow, buy what's getting pressured and stick with what's working.
Cramer and the AAP team say that the Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report family's $50 offer is the just the floor of negotiations. 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.
Balancing Out Trade Balance
There's been a disturbing pattern in the markets since January, Cramer told viewers, and that pattern is to worry about pretty much everything. The markets started by worrying about wage inflation, then about bond yields, followed by worries about the VIX and now we're worried about trade. It's beyond silly, Cramer proclaimed, but we also have to admit that things aren't quite as good as they were at the beginning of the year.
Trade policy has become a religion for those who study it. The free trade folks who have been setting policy for decades made the calculated decision that because the U.S. needed to sell into China, we needed to let China get away with dumping steel and aluminum. If there was a problem, just file suit with the World Trade Organization.
The problem is that fines alone were never enough to deter China from dumping and these policies theoretically boosted the rest of our economy at the expense of steel and aluminum.
Economies are ecosystems, Cramer said, and these industries should be allowed to coexist with the rest of our economy. So while these issues will cause short-term issues for stocks, over the long term, there will be a compromise and things will rebalance themselves.
On Real Money, Cramer says if we didn't have something to worry about, we'd just invent it. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Off the Charts: Retail
In his "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Bob Lang over the charts of four retail stocks, a sector that is alive and well, despite calls to the contrary.
Lang first looked at a daily chart of Costco (COST) - Get Report , noting that this stock is consolidating gains and is seeing strong volume with a relative strength indicator, or RSI, trending higher. He was equally bullish on Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report , whose MACD momentum indicator just flashed a bullish crossover.
Macy's (M) - Get Report was next on Lang's list, and he noted that the Chaikin money flow, or CMF, just turned positive again. Finally, TJX Companies (TJX) - Get Report had the best chart of them all, with the MACD and RSI both in bullish territory.
To see the charts and read more of Lang and Cramer's analysis, check out the full story, Retail's Back With a Bang: Cramer's 'Off the Charts'.
Executive Decision: Lam Research
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Martin Anstice, CEO at semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX) - Get Report , which just concluded an analyst day. The company doubled its dividend and boosted its stock buyback program, and shares responded up 4.9% by the close.
Anstice explained that our world has an insatiable appetite for data and data is disrupting every part of our lives. Behind all of that data is silicone and behind silicone is Lam Research, which is helping the world gain insights and take actions from the growing mountain of data being collected.
From climate change and education to autonomous vehicles and smart infrastructure, the key drivers are connectivity, the cloud and costs, Anstice said, and Lam is a leader in all three areas.
We're in a different world, Anstice concluded, noting that Lam is a different company in a different industry than it was decades ago, when everything hinged on PC sales and created huge boom and bust cycles.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report , Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Report , Worldpay (WP) - Get Report , Mastercard (MA) - Get Report , Visa (V) - Get Report and DowDuPont (DWDP) - Get Report .
Executive Decision: Pegasystems
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Alan Trefler, founder and CEO of Pegasystems (PEGA) - Get Report , the cloud computing giant that just posted blowout earnings. Shares of Pegasystems are up 29% so far this year.
Trefler explained that Pegasystems is at the heart of digital transformation and helping companies improve their operations. His company made a big push into artificial intelligence seven years ago and now has AI elements as core parts of their platform.
One of Pegasystems' newest offerings is transparent AI, or the ability to show how and why your AI is making decisions. Trefler said this is especially important in areas like banking, where sometimes you need to make loans where you otherwise wouldn't have or have to make decisions by including or excluding certain factors. Only Pegasystems has the ability to "show your work" so that banks can explain to regulators how and why decisions are being made.
Cramer said Pegasystems is a company investors need to know about because it's a buy.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in JWN, STZ, AMZN, DWDP.