With the market rallying after the favorable outcome of France's first round of elections, Jim Cramer looked at some of the trends helping stocks push higher.
His one caveat was that President Donald Trump's tax plan announcement on Wednesday has nothing to do with the boost.
"There are so many pundits out there saying that today's rally is all about these tax cuts that I think I have to call a time out and explain how that's not the real driver of this fabulous move," the "Mad Money" host said on Monday.
In reality, the market's upward move had two main drivers aside from the French election, Cramer said: increased merger activity and a wave of better-than-expected earnings reports.
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For example, Cramer was wondering why medical device maker C. R. Bard's stock had not come down in months. The answer came at 5 p.m. Sunday, when medical equipment giant Becton Dickinson announced it was buying Bard for $24 billion.
"It's a reminder that while C.R. Bard may have seemed expensive on Friday, as so many pundits tell us about so many stocks, on Monday, you picked up a quick 50 points for doing absolutely nothing other than owning C.R. Bard's stock," Cramer said.
Then came the stellar earnings reports from the past several weeks that got lost amid the French election noise.
"Honeywell had remarkable cash flow generation, but the company had the misfortune of reporting on Friday. Today, its stock is screaming higher," the "Mad Money" host noted.
Regional bank KeyCorp's stock had a similarly belated rally on its strong earnings because it reported before France's results hit. On Monday, the stock jumped.
Quarterly results for some of the semiconductor names were also met with tepid reactions ahead of Sunday's elections despite buzz around Apple and Samsung's smartphone cycles.
"Now that we're unshackled, we got quite a run in Skyworks, Broadcom, Analog Devices, Texas Instruments and, perhaps most important, Xilinx, which I suggested last week should be bought because it's got strong fundamentals and I think would be a terrific takeover target for Broadcom," Cramer said.
So while the president has made waves by getting rid of profit-harming regulations in the banking and energy industries, Cramer has his doubts about the impact of tax reform.
"There is little hope for 'the biggest tax cut ever' because the Republicans just don't have their act together in Congress," he said, adding that commentators attributing the market rally to Wednesday's announcement are creating inflated expectations.
In short, France's first-round elections paved the way for a rally by not clouding the corporate news hitting the market, and in Cramer's view, tax reform will only be a driver if it gets done.
"If Trump gets legislation passed, that would be fantastic for the market, but you really need to stop banking on anything that involves Congress," Cramer said. "You're just setting your portfolio up for failure instead of looking at the main chance: the phenomenal performance of U.S. managements at U.S. companies in the face of tremendous uncertainty both here and abroad."
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