Cramer’s game plan: Investors shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a trade deal with China
CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggests that investors don’t underestimate the importance of a U.S.-China trade deal as negotiations pick back up in Washington, D.C. next week.
President Donald Trump has signaled that he may hold off of hiking tariffs on Chinese imports as time inches closer to a March 1 agreement deadline. Stocks rallied, including many in the tech and retail sectors, Friday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 443 points. It’s a hint that economies around the world could return to sustainable global growth, Cramer said.
Wall Street watchers may be skeptical if a trade agreement between the world’s largest economies would actually stop earnings from shrinking, but Cramer said there are a number of signs that a deal could give a boost to companies with exposure to China.
“If we get a deal … I think the stocks of many international companies, or companies in other words that are based here that sell internationally, can rally because at this point the earnings estimates are too low,” he said. “A trade deal translates into higher earnings and higher earnings almost always lead to higher stock prices.”
With that in mind, the “Mad Money” host told viewers what stocks he’ll be watching after the Presidents’ Day holiday Monday:
Tuesday: Walmart, Medtronic
Walmart: Walmart will release its latest quarterly earnings Monday morning, which Cramer expects to beat estimates. He’s interested in hearing how the retail giant plans to play its cards against Amazon’s Whole Foods in the grocery delivery category. Walmart has been building a roster of delivery partners and plans to double the number of stores that offer online grocery ordering services.
“The fact that I can say that with a straight face tells you how much better Walmart’s digital team has gotten over the past couple of years,” he said.
Medtronic: Medtronic will also report earnings before markets open. The stock dropped on news that the medical device maker cut its estimates, which Cramer said was a buying opportunity.
“Now Medtronics [is] up nearly 10 points pretty much in a straight line,” he said. “If Medtronics sounds too cautious this time and the stock pulls back, you know what you gotta do: you gotta buy it again.”
Wednesday: CVS, Bausch Health, Analog Devices
CVS: Cramer said this will be one of the most critical shareholder calls to come this earnings season. As Amazon makes a foray into health care, CVS has aimed to bolster its competitive stance with its acquisition of health insurer Aetna. It’s a part of the company’s strategy to change focus from a brick-and-mortar franchise to a services industry.
But there are concerns that integration challenges could force the drug store giant to lower its guidance.
“I think many people are waiting for this quarter to be out of the way … [to] get those lower numbers before they buy the stock,” Cramer said. “So even if CVS does shave down its guidance the stock might jump as long as they don’t take their full-year earnings estimates below $7. That’s the magic number. And if they don’t cut their numbers, well holy cow this thing is going to $75 in a straight line.”
Bausch Health: Cramer has been impressed by CEO Joe Papa’s leadership and expects him to show more progress when the company delivers its earnings report before the open. He notes that Bausch has loaded on debt, but he thinks investors should focus instead on new drugs.
“With the stock trading at less than seven times this year’s earnings estimates again kept down by that debt load, it’s too cheap to ignore,” Cramer said.
Analog Devices: Semiconductor companies have had a bumpy road, particularly those dealing with cellphones. But Analog Devices is one of the exceptions that could see positive results.
“Analog Devices … has been one of those winners,” Cramer said. “This company is all about the internet of things, IOT, and I believe they’ll put up a good quarter.”
Hormel Foods: Cramer said he’ll put his thesis that there is little safety in safety stocks to the test when Hormel Foods, the owner of brands like Spam, Dinty Moore, Apple Gate Farms, Justin’s, and Wholly Guacamole.
Hormel Foods is the food company responsible for a range of brands including Spam, Dinty Moore, Apple Gate Farms, Justin’s, and Wholly Guacamole.
“I think these latter brands are the reason why Hormel’s stock has left its packaged food companies … in its sector right in the dust,” Cramer said.
Thursday: Norwegian Cruise, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Intuit
Norwegian Cruise: The cruise line industry has hit rough waters, but Norwegian Cruise could be one of the stocks that stays afloat. It’s a market leader and Cramer said CEO Frank Del Rio has steered a tight ship.
“This one could be the standout that potentially reignites the whole group, which is dirt cheap,” Cramer said. “All this week the travel and leisure stocks have stood out. So I’ll be watching Norwegian like a hawk,,” Cramer said.
Wendy’s: The cost of labor has been rising and the fast food industry has been on the receiving end of those changes. Wendy’s will give its reports before stocks start trading that day and investors will get to see how many burgers the company flipped and if it is maintaining momentum.
“So far the answer has been yes,” Cramer said. “A few weeks ago Restaurant Brands, the parent of Burger King … put up an excellent quarter. I think Wendy’s will do the same.”
Domino’s: Shares of Domino’s Pizza are up double digits this year, but its still off from its August highs of $305. Still, it appears CEO Ritch could be cooking something up for the company.
“I think he’s telling a very good story,” Cramer said. “This has been a fabulous long-term winner and I bet it will continue to deliver.”
Intuit: Cramer thinks this is one of the best tech stocks on the market, even though the company focuses on financial management services. The QuickBooks developer reports earnings after the bell.
“I call it a tech company because Intuit used its technology namely TurboTax to beat the heck out of rival H&R Block,” Cramer said. “I expect a good number … but I also want to point out that the best time to buy this stock is when it does go down after a good number ’cause there’s a lot of stupid people on the stock.”
Friday: Autonation, Autozone, Wayfair
Autonation: The used-car retailer will roll out its most recent earnings results before the bell.
The company “is beginning to see its stock finally start to pick up life,” Cramer said.
Autozone: Cramer has been a stalwart supporter of the stock.
“The auto parts chain, which is an incredible stock, one that gets better with time as people go for longer periods without replacing their cars,” he said.
Wayfair: Investors have made a lot of money this year on Wayfair, the online furniture maker. But Cramer wonders if its heating up too much too quickly.
“The stock’s up more than 35 percent for the year,” he said. “While I think it will have a good quarter I am concerned given how much it’s run. Monster short position.”
WATCH: Cramer breaks down his trade-tinged game plan
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of CVS.
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