The trade tensions with China are making it tougher to pick stocks, according to TheStreet's founder and Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer.

"I think [the trade question] is going to become a standard and a staple on [earnings] conference calls," Cramer noted. "The trade picture has muddied the way we pick stocks and you just have to be aware of it - I'm not saying you have to sell - I'm just saying you have to be aware."

This was the subject of Cramer's Real Money column on Thursday.