This is a tough market right now, "it's damned if you do, damned if you don't," Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" viewers on Tuesday night.
Consumer and corporate confidence is waning, while we get mixed signals from the White House. This issue goes all the way from climate change to the trade war and is causing executives to freeze in the tracks, he explained.
While the economy seems to be doing fine, it may not stay that way if trade war worries persist. Dividend stocks aren't bouncing despite falling bond yields and the IPO market is sapping liquidity from the market. Further, the bond market is sending some not-so-great signals about the economy as well, Cramer reasoned.
So what's an investor to do?
Having full exposure to stocks is too risky, yet so is having little to no exposure to stocks. If the U.S. gets a trade deal with China, it can propel the market -- and stocks that have been hit over tariff fears, like Apple (AAPL) - Get Report -- back to higher ground.
Even if the economy does slow down, there are plenty of names that don't have Chinese exposure and will continue to have strong businesses. Think FANG, Cramer said, pointing out that Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOG) - Get Report (GOOGL) - Get Report should still have good growth even if the stocks get hit. The Federal Reserve will likely take action as well, should the economy slow.
At the end of the day, investors need to keep some exposure to the stock market and some cash on the sidelines for buying opportunities. The trade war is likely to get worse before it gets better, Cramer added.
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Executive Decision: Mondelez
On the show's "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Dirk Van De Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelez (MDLZ) - Get Report . Van De Put has "revolutionized" this company, which had a great earnings report in late-April and is doing fantastic, Cramer reasoned.
We don't take a one-size-fits-all approach to our global markets, Van De Put said. Instead, they listen to what consumers in each region want and try to adapt to their preferences. Brands need support when it comes to food, and we're willing to spend, he added, but the company is also focused on cost control too.
The global consumer is "doing pretty" good, but it's clear that there's unease among the global middle and lower classes. Consumers are eating more on the go and indulging with more snacks. That's helping Mondelez, Van De Put reasoned.
It's about "connecting with consumers and staying playful," Van De Put added. For instance, the company did limited edition Game of Thrones Oreo cookies.
On the sustainability front, Van De Put explained some of the company's efforts with cocoa farmers. These farmers typically live close to the rainforest in difficult circumstances. However, Mondelez is looking to help, showing farmers how to get more yield from their crop to discourage deforestation. They are also looking to provide a better living for the farmers and education for their children.
Pivoting to cannabis, Van De Put said the company is looking at CBD options. While they won't the biggest players in the market, it's something to be prepared for, he said.
Off the Charts
In the show's "Off the Charts" segment, Cramer looked at the work of Real Money contributor Carley Garner.
What are the odds of the Fed cutting rates? Cramer wondered. He pointed out that the Fed Funds Futures suggest there is an 80% chance that the Fed will cut rates once by year end, and a 30% chance it will cut rates twice.
Garner says the latter is too risky and won't happen unless the economy decelerates notably. Instead, she argues that the Fed is stuck in a tough position and could even go on a multi-year pause with rates. It's possible that the expectations for the Fed Funds Futures could drift back down to a stay-the-course outcome.
She looked at other assets too. Regarding the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT), Garner says there is resistance at $129 and the relative strength index suggests an overbought condition. The ETF could pullback to the $124 to $125 level before hitting support. Should support fail, a decline to $122 and even $118 is possible.
Regarding the stock market, she says the S&P 500 may find support at 2,725. Below that and the 2,650 to 2,675 could come into play. Should that happen, in may well be a buying opportunity, with a run back to the 3,000 area being a possibility.
The path of least resistance is higher, she says, particularly if the Fed is accommodative.
Executive Decision Part 2
Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO of Workday (WDAY) - Get Report , was on the show's second "Executive Decision" segment, after the company just reported an "excellent" earnings results, Cramer said. Workday is a textbook secular growth play, the only issue is, the stock ran ahead of the quarter, he added.
The company's core accounting products saw a 50% year-over-year growth rate. Workday's acquisition of Adaptive Insights is helping to fuel that growth. Bhusri noted that the company landed clients like AstraZeneca, H&R Block and Airbus.
Big companies - like Geico and Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report -- are choosing Workday to lead their digitalization efforts after seeing that Workday can handle it. If we can scale on the cloud for Walmart (WMT) - Get Report and Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Workday can do it for anyone, Bhusri reasoned.
He noted that the company has a 98% customer satisfaction rate, which is driven by the company's high ranking for employee satisfaction. Further, it helps drive additional business from the same clients for different products.
Overall, there are a number cloud-based secular trends that are in place and that should continue into the future, Bhusri reasoned.
Financial Payments Deals
Cramer took a quick look at the financial payments and payment processing industry following the announcement that Global Payments (GPN) - Get Report will buy Total System Services (TSS) - Get Report in a $21.5 billion deal.
The deal will form a payment juggernaut and combine a number of great products and services among the two companies, Cramer said. He added that the deal makes a ton of sense.
More news came out in the industry though, after reports said Citigroup (C) - Get Report pulled out of working with Apple on its payment card over profitability worries. That's a big deal, as Citigroup is a massive player in the card payment space -- heck, it's the one who handles the Costco (COST) - Get Report credit card.
In the end, it was Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report who picked up the deal with Apple. While there might be a lot of upfront costs, it could be the perfect way for Goldman to get into the payment processing game. By the way, Goldman Sachs has one of the lowest P/E ratios in the banking industry, Cramer reminded his viewers.
Finally, some say the Global Payments-Total System Services deal could be a headache for PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report and Square (SQ) - Get Report . However, the latter has a unique position with its large collection of small- and medium-sized businesses, while the former is a global payments juggernaut.
Investors need to buy the pullbacks in PayPal, the undisputed leader with its collection of excellent assets, which include Braintree and Venmo, Cramer concluded.
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