Cramer: Trump or Clinton won't impact stocks as much as you think

Cramer: Trump or Clinton won't impact stocks as much as you think

Uncertainty took its toll on the stock market on Monday, with stocks slumping in preparation for the first presidential debate.

However, Jim Cramer doesn't expect significant changes for the stock market regardless of which candidate wins the election.

"Uncertainty creates sell-offs, but it also creates bargains. Given how little the president really has to do with the performance of individual companies, if we get a big enough decline, I recommend pouncing on the unaffected opportunities," the "Mad Money" host said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, no Fortune 100 CEOs have donated to Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign. Thus, Monday's decline made sense to Cramer.

If business people don't trust Trump with their dollars, they won't trust him with stocks, and may just sell stocks and wait on the sidelines until they see who wins.

Additionally, the article stated that 89 of the top 100 CEOs don't support either presidential nominee, but 11 backed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Despite the large differences between the two parties, Cramer noted that the president isn't powerful enough to change the course of business.

"I believe that, with some rare exceptions, stocks won't be nearly as impacted by the race as people seem to think," Cramer said.

The President just doesn't have that much power over the economy, even if you sometimes pretend otherwise.
Jim Cramer
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Reuters; Getty Images

Eight years ago, the U.S. elected as president Democrat Barack Obama, who was widely viewed as left-wing and anti-business, and also had a supermajority in Congress during his first two years in office.

Since that time, both houses of Congress have gone Republican. And from the perspective of the stock market, the Dow Jones industrial average now trades at around 18,000, up from 7,500 when Obama was sworn in.

"The market went up because of an ideal combination of corporate profits, takeovers, low interest rates, buybacks and dividends," Cramer said, "The market went up because the U.S. economy did better. The market went up because more jobs were created, whether you think Obama had a hand in that or not."

As for Trump, there were a lot of unknowns for Cramer. Trump hasn't fleshed out his economic policy besides a desire to protect American business from foreigners. He's also pro-coal and pro-gun.

However, he can't shut down China, repeal NAFTA or bring back coal by himself.

"He will need Congress, and regardless of whether the Republicans maintain control or the Democrats retake the Senate, I'm predicting no real substantive changes, except perhaps on relaxing gun control," Cramer said.

Cramer also thought Secretary Clinton would be equally ineffectual, unless there was a Democratic sweep.

"Unless you think both houses of Congress are going to go Democratic — a very unlikely outcome given the Republican advantage in the House — then there is just not a lot to invest in," Cramer said.

Ultimately, as radical as the differences are between Trump and Clinton, Cramer doesn't believe that the person that wins the presidency will mean as much to the stock market as many people seem to believe.

"The President just doesn't have that much power over the economy, even if you sometimes pretend otherwise," Cramer said.

Perhaps if Trump shared the specifics of his policies instead of his predispositions, and if we knew who would win the House and then Senate, then maybe there would be more of a directional move.

Cramer recommended staying unemotional, and remembering that even when business people hated the Obama administration, it didn't stop them from making a fortune in the stock market. That is the key to taking advantage of the presidential bargains.

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