Jim Cramer detailed last week what he thought the impact on the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be if the bailout plan failed in Congress. We are rerunning that column today.
Without the Paulson plan, or if the plan is so watered down and delayed, I have been saying all bets are off and we could be in for a huge swoon. How huge?
I like to sit down and noodle on the actual components of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
to give you a real sense of what can go wrong. And there is so much going wrong. The credit markets are vanishing, the earnings are vanishing and the only hope is a plan that ignites credit markets, forces money off the sidelines and gets this economy and the worldwide economy moving again.
Not long ago, I postulated that this market is literally repealing all of the moves since the Brazil-Russia-India-China emergence that gave us better markets to sell into than just the U.S. With the collapse of Chinese growth -- they have simply ceased to be importers since the summer -- the inflation in India, the war in Russia and a U.S.-led slowdown in Brazil (although that remains a robust market) BRIC is more like having a brick around your neck than a wind at your back.
Meanwhile, the peak in energy and the collapse of the financial system have left both of those groups in disarray with valuations simply too difficult to pin down, so you retreat to worst-case scenarios where you can at least find some terra firma -- mainly where stocks were last time things were this bad.
Given that most of these companies bought back stock at high prices and issued stock to executives, the actual value of the buybacks seems almost nonexistent, so the value that was created since those hard times is hard to see.
Finally, in a recession like we are having, one can only guess how badly the consumer will be scalded. This list of prices is about a scalded consumer.
I don't want to bury the punchline, but when you add these worst-case prices together you get Dow Jones 8378, which, reluctantly, I admit is where we are going if everything fails with the plan and the economies here and worldwide are left to their own devices.
Let's run through the Dow 30.
can retreat back to $43 where it started both before the housing boom and before the energy boom and before BRIC became a dominant force. All of its markets will be challenged with housing downturns worldwide and energy prices retreating from highs, something that I think will happen as economies slow.
-- $14. This is where it traded before the short-selling rules were created on July 15, and this is where it is going without a financing and a big investment. It might not stop there if there is no relief at all. I am really bearish on this stock without a plan.
has a lot of businesses that are less cyclical than people think and a safe dividend. I would be surprised if it went much below $40, where I would like to buy it.
has turned into a terrible lender with a product that is viewed as something that is no longer indispensable, courtesy great marketing by
. This stock's headed to $31, maybe lower, as it is really a weak sister in the Dow now.
traded at $25 when people thought there was nothing to it other than a declining advertising business and an expensive group of theme parks. This is a company I will buy for
if it hits that downside target.
is a BRIC derivative for certain with too much aerospace and a defense business that could be hurt by an Obama election. Knock it back to $51, which would be a repeal of the whole BRIC move.
talked recently about how it is not immune from a retail sales slowdown; when it did, the stock retreated to about $48, where it would surely be headed again.
is a play on worldwide growth in a number of industrial areas, and worldwide growth is on the decline beyond what this fine firm is ready for. It could have a huge decline in earnings, and I am putting it at $50.
, without a plan and without a handle on
and on the right kind of cars, will burn through the bailout money quickly and disappears. Yes, it goes bankrupt. Stocks don't get down to where they are like this one if something hasn't become out of control. This one's out of control.
-- I think it could trade down to $20. The decision to end the buyback, which was just wasting a gigantic amount of money, is now behind them, so all it would have to contend with is lower earnings and a less turbo-charged report.
: This one's going to suffer for pennies by a stronger dollar, but not much more, and it just boosted the dividend. I think it would be a gift below $57.
retreats to where it was on that July 15 low, $21, where it finds buyers for that dividend.
Bank of America
: With the plan, this is the biggest winner in the
. Without the plan? Sorry, it revisits the low of July 15 as it has to get rid of these bad mortgages it is stocked with. Target is $18.
: This is a slow-growth company with decent oil assets that would quickly go down to where its dividend made it compelling. Call it $54 as in a falling-oil environment -- perhaps down to $70. You will see price/earnings shrinkage continuing.
: This company's acquisition of EDS is going to work and help numbers for years, but the stock will still have to revisit at least its recent lows on fears of a worldwide tech slowdown; call it $41.
: This company keeps doing everything right, but the plan would make this the best bank on earth other than Bank of America. Without the plan, it goes to its July 15 low of $31.
: Here's a company that can only make more money by firing people, which is a good strategy until you run out of people. Still, the dividend is safe for at least another two years, so I think the stock stays at $18.
: A food company that is getting better run is nothing to rave about, but this new addition to the Dow sure beats the disastrous run
has had. I think it can drop a couple to $30 but not go much below that because it is so defensive.
is a great mystery. During the great 21st-century commodity boom that say
disappear, this homely little aluminum company has done
! Now it is free to go to $19, as the boom is totally over.
Johnson & Johnson
is a super stock. Well managed, great earnings, good pipeline, I think it goes up a couple from here.
: Here's one that could get cut in half if the strike doesn't settle and the airlines around the world contract. It could go as low as $24. It's one of the most vulnerable stocks in the Dow because of its clients' stress and voracious need for hard-to-get capital.
retreats back to where it was during the last tech recession -- $13. Think of it this way: It bought back a lot of stock. That money was wasted.
faces landline challenges and corporate weakness. In a disaster scenario, it could lose a third of its value. Call it $21. I only say that because look at what the competition, outfits like
are selling for with slackened to no growth. Bad geographies. At the bottom, there will be a lot of fretting about the dividend.
needs more phone lines, more frivolous texters and photo-senders and a heck of a lot of clients for FiOS. None is likely to happen in this environment. I could see the stock retreat back to $26. It didn't help that they bought Alltel ... for now. Same dividend worries as above.
is like Intel. Bought back a lot of stock. Nothing to show for it, and it now goes to $21.
either stays the same or goes up, because that's where everyone will shop -- they'll all be trading down in retail.
is pretty much where it is going to go. It's a challenged company with safe yield. $31.
could be facing a huge headwind of global recession, and I think that its business is far more economically sensitive than people realize. It could lose as much as 50 points -- it used to be that low for a long time -- sending it to $60. This and Boeing are probably the two most severe cuts, and the ones I am most likely going to be too pessimistic about if things get a little better.
stays at $68 or goes a little lower, not much. The company is set up to win in this environment.
: If you repeal the whole oil boom, which is what will happen in a worldwide recession or worse, Exxon's failed buyback strategy will be revealed for what it was: a giant money pit. The stock could retreat to $57, as it has minimal dividend support.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long GE, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, JPMorgan and Hewlett-Packard.
Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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