Forget Fed Watch
For the past nine months or so, any move – or lack thereof – by the U.S. central bank has sent the markets spiraling or surging in either direction. But when Fed Chief Ben Bernanke and gang again set interest rates this Wednesday, expect to hear crickets.
All right, well maybe Wall Street’s reaction won’t be that muted. But Cramer pointed out Monday that interest rates just don’t have the sway over stocks anymore that they’ve had since last summer’s implosion in the credit markets. Earnings, valuation and the momentum of the worldwide economy all matter more right now. So even if the Fed holds rates steady and the market dips, Cramer thinks investors should be buying stocks.
“Cut or no cut,” he said, “I’m bullish.”
As long as you steer clear of the financials, retail and domestic restaurants, that is. Here’s why:
Most of the Dow stocks are insulated from the Fed. Think recession-proof names like Johnson & Johnson , Pfizer and Merck . Not to mention the rest of the companies who do a bulk of their business overseas, free from any pull-down by a lagging U.S. economy.
Also, the stronger part of the markets – oil and gas, agriculture, minerals, infrastructure – isn’t controlled by the dollar, and the dollar’s not controlled by the Fed, Cramer said. Actually, the companies he likes are controlled by worldwide commodities prices. The dollar, meanwhile, is valued according to the U.S.'s budget and trade deficits, not short-term interest rates, and these trends have more to do with the high demand for energy. That’s why Cramer has been touting the success of Deere, Potash, Apache and Nabors.
The last reason Cramer is ignoring Wednesday’s Fed announcement is that earnings have been great, and earnings control stocks, he said. Overseas exposure is fueling beats, and even the companies that don’t outperform have been bouncing back and then some. Just look at Apple, Amazon, FedEx and Coach. Heck, even the homebuilders have climbed back from their depths, meaning the Fed’s rate cuts are already working.
This has Cramer feeling bullish over the longer term. In the very least, he doesn’t want investors getting scared out of the market as Wall Street tenses before Wednesday’s Fed meeting. A better strategy: Have your broker on speed dial.
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