"The people have spoken ... the bastards!" Those are the infamous words of Dick Tuck, a Democratic Party candidate in 1966 for the California State Senate, after learning that he had lost. On Thursday, the British people spoke, and they voted for national suicide.
Global financial carnage followed on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial average dropping 318 points, nearly 2%. But the adage to "buy when there's blood in the streets" has rarely been more apt. Friday's plunge in the broader markets presents an exciting buying opportunity for dispassionate investors.
Below, we look at the 10 most promising bargains in the post-Brexit world. Each is a sector bellwether poised for outsized gains over the long haul.
First, some context is called for. Before Friday's bloodbath, the bull market was more than seven years old, with stocks hovering in overvalued territory. In addition, the Dow had already added 336 points on the week. That means scores of inherently strong blue-chip investments that were too pricey are now on the bargain shelf. You can expect traders to start snapping them up when the markets open on Monday.
For global growth, Brexit is a speed bump, not a full stop. That said, our opportunism doesn't overlook Brexit's grievous damage to Britain.
The June 23 referendum was born of Prime Minister David Cameron's desperate attempt to stem the rise of the nativist UK Independence Party, known as UKIP, and the "Euroskeptics" within his own Tory coalition. By promising a vote on the EU, David Cameron kicked the can down the road. The gambit helped Cameron get re-elected in 2015, but in the process it seriously wounded the country. On Friday, he announced his resignation.
Great Britain is in danger of becoming Little England. Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering whether they're better off in the U.K. or the EU. French right-wing nationalists are pressing for "Frexit" and Russia and China are quietly gloating, as the Western alliance in place since the end of World War II threatens to unravel.
Make no mistake: As a consequence of leaving the European Union, Britain's productivity, wages, gross domestic product, influence and prestige will all suffer.
Every major economist has condemned Brexit as a very bad idea. Perhaps the greatest argument against Brexit is the fact that both Donald Trump and Sarah Palin think it's splendid. Americans who watched their retirement accounts nosedive on Friday might be inclined to disagree.
However, history teaches us that despite national crises, business goes on. Britain will eventually rue the day it voted for Brexit (in fact, many who voted for "Leave" already show remorse), but consumers around the world will still clamor for cars, homes, plane tickets, brand-name clothing, and smartphones. Global capitalism survived the crash of 1987, the dotcom implosion of 2000, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. In every instance, equity markets plunged only to later reach new highs.
Britain's colossal blunder makes the political and economic leadership of the United States all the more important. In the week ahead, keep your eye on these important U.S. economic reports:
Tuesday: U.S. gross domestic product and corporate profits. Wednesday: personal income and outlays, MBA mortgage applications, and Janet Yellen's latest assessment of the U.S. economy. Thursday: Jobless claims and the Bloomberg consumer comfort index. Friday: Motor vehicle sales, PMI Manufacturing Index, and ISM Mfg Index.
Also keep in mind that several beaten-down blue chips look appealing right now. Categorized by the 10 sectors of the S&P 500 index, here are some of the best bargains out there now.
Down 3.86% on Friday
Walgreens Boots Alliance is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells WBA? Learn more now.
Down 4.59% on Friday
Wells Fargo is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells WFC? Learn more now.
Down 4.42% on Friday
General Electric is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GE? Learn more now.
Down 2.81% on Friday
Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.
Up. 0.3% on Friday
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See full Brexit coverage here.