With the White House taking aim at financial institutions, Cramer used Friday’s Stop Trading! to recommend stocks that were off the political radar.
President Obama’s proposed bank tax, to recoup losses from the government’s $700 billion bailout, has turned up the heat on the financial-services sector. So much so that the group is front-page news, and not just on The Wall Street Journal. Investors now are less likely to buy the related stocks given their above-the-fold position in The New York Times.
This headline risk, Cramer said, “That’s what causes the real weakness” in banks right now.
He focused instead on Watsco , a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment company. If WSO was upgraded today, he said, then business might also be good for Ingersoll-Rand , Honeywell and Johnson Controls .
The Mad Money host also recommended Wynn Resorts on any weakness, saying the company’s Macau operations are “on fire.” Cramer expects that to continue with Chinese New Year coming up in February. Plus, revenues from Las Vegas were up two months in a row as well.
Cramer said that while the Dow’s triple-digit losses on Friday were “disturbing,” they needed to be put in context. The S&P 500 had been at 15-month highs, and the market had barely seen a down day so far in 2010. Also, the Dow’s 109-point decline, on a percentage basis, was minimal when compared with the index’s run to 10,600 from 6,500 last March.
Cramer defended Intel’s quarter, which with JPMorgan Chase’s earnings was one of the catalysts for the down day, saying the company has “terrific” gross margins and the stock is very cheap.
As for JPMorgan, Cramer thought it was a good thing in this anti-bank environment that the company reported mortgage and credit-card losses. Strong numbers may incur even more wrath from Washington and the American public.
“Why would any bank in the world say, ‘Boy, things are getting better’?” Cramer said. “If anything, you’d say things are getting worse.”
Cramer hoped JPM’s quarter would give the White House reason to halt that bank tax, something he thinks will be passed on to consumers anyway. He said the tax would make it harder for people to get loans.
“It’s not the right time,” Cramer said.
Cramer's charitable trust owns Honeywell International, Intel, Johnson Controls and JPMorgan Chase.
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