Office Depot and Staples will be the tells as to whether or not the president succeeds in this endeavor. Staples specifically has said it has seen no small-business business, and its top-selling products are literally, Cramer said, “a referendum on whether the president can create small business jobs.”
“If we see Staples go up,” Cramer said, “I’m going to tell you it’s a successful speech.”
The banks will play their part as well. Though there is still a lot of negative press on the state of this sector (see: this New York Times story), Cramer said that negativity is already baked into the stocks. And in contrast to that, he pointed to recent statements by both JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America that business is improving, or in the very least has stabilized. If these stocks tick up on the president’s speech—in addition to Visa, which has been hated in Washington—it should be a sign that “the president’s no longer the enemy of capital,” Cramer said.
And in retail, any push higher by Coach , Tiffany , Best Buy or Macy’s is, Cramer said, “again, that’s the confidence coming back. That’s the president telling us, ‘Don’t worry about your taxes.’”
Cramer also said he’d be looking for word from President Obama on “card check” legislation, which would make it easier for workers at banks, retailers and other businesses to unionize. The initiative, while good for unions, is seen as less so for the companies in question. And it would come at a precarious time for American businesses overall.
The question of the hour, though, will be just which Obama shows up.
“Are we going to get the centrist president, or are we going to get the leftist president?” Cramer asked. “I’d like to know.”
When this story published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
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