The long-term earnings potential of individual companies is what matters, not merely the day-to-day narrative in Washington, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday.
Cramer said investors need to stay focused on earnings and ignore the presidential fever that has gripped the nation.
For weeks now, the controlling narrative on Wall Street has been that if President Trump's pro-business agenda of lower taxes, deregulation and infrastructure spending is on track, then bond yields and stock prices will be rising.
If his agenda appears delayed or distracted, then yields will fall, taking stocks along for the ride.
But does it really make sense that lower oil prices are bad for, say, the airlines? Fuel is their biggest cost, Cramer reminded viewers, and that far outweighs the possibility that lower oil means a slowing economy.
Cramer told viewers to ignore the masses and keep their eyes on the bull, which can be found in countless great American companies no matter what's going on in Washington on any given day.
Meanwhile, on Real Money, Cramer explains why the current market narrative just makes no sense and what to do about it. Check out his analysis with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Starbucks
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Howard Schultz, founder, chairman and outgoing-CEO of Starbucks (SBUX) , along with Kevin Johnson, the company's president and COO -- and incoming CEO.
Schultz said that Starbucks continues to play for the long term. In his new role, Schultz said he will continue to lead the expansion of Starbucks' Roastery premium concept as well as work with our nation's leaders and officials to help move our country forward.
Johnson acknowledged that the success of mobile ordering has created throughput problems picking up those orders, but said the company is taking steps to rectify those issues to provide a better experience for customers. Schultz added that the throughput issues are minor ones that can be easily and quickly solved.
Johnson said that Starbucks continues its commitment to veterans and is expanding its goal to to hire 25,000 veterans, up from its original goal of 10,000, by 2025.
Schultz also touted Starbucks' opportunities in China, where the company's new stores are posting some of the best performances in a generation. Starbucks is currently opening one new store a day in China, on average.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking for some resilience in this market and they've got their eye on Adobe and General Electric (GE) . Find out why and what they're advising their investment club members about improving industry dynamics with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Retail REITs the Next Sector To Be Avoided
Sectors that have big secular themes running against them are falling knives you don't want to catch, Cramer told viewers. And with bricks-and-mortar retail struggling, the retail REITs are the next sector that should be avoided, he said.
Today's news that Sears Holdings (SHLD) now doubts its ability to continue as a going concern is only one in a string of bad reports for retailers. Cramer said the mall is dying a slow death as the stay-at-home economy continues to blossom. And with anchor stores from Nordstrom (JWN) to JC Penney (JCP) all struggling, there could be tough times ahead for the likes of Kimco Realty Trust (KIM) , Simon Property Group (SPG) and Federal Realty Trust (FRT) .
But there's another issue at play -- interest rates. REITs are considered high-yielding bond market equivalents, ones that look a lot less attractive as bond yields rise.
There simply may not be enough retailers out there to fill the shoes of the ailing anchor stores, Cramer said, especially given the recent bankruptcies of Sports Authority, Limited, Wet Seal, Aeropostale and American Apparel, just to name a few.
Executive Decision: PVH
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again sat down with Manny Chirico, chairman and CEO of PVH Corp (PVH) , purveyors of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, which just delivered a four-cents-a-share earnings beat with expanding gross margins.
Chirico said PVH continues to see strength led by Europe and Asia, particularly in China. He said there is a highly promotional environment in North America, which is why PVH is a global player with scale and diversity to handle challenging environments.
When asked whether an imminent failure of Sears would be a blow to PVH, Chirico said that Sears does not buy directly from his company and is not a material player in that market anymore.
Finally, Chirico said that Trump's proposed border tax would be a terrible idea because it would just be passed onto consumers. He said the apparel business is low-skill and low-wage, and isn't the type of industry we want back in America.
Cramer was bearish on Time Warner (TWX) .
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said for the first time in many years, the European markets are becoming enticing. Indeed, the region is growing, the Euro has stabilized and their politics have become placid as compared to the U.S. It's no wonder companies like PPG (PPG) are looking to invest in Europe.
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