Cramer Remix: PPG just turned whole swaths of this market toxic

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer highlights how companies exposed to the auto or oil industries were impacted by PPG’s earnings news.
  • The "Mad Money" host also adds two new sectors to his power rankings.

Specialty chemicals company PPG Industries managed to sour the outlook for huge portions of the broader stock market with its negative earnings pre-announcement, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.

"It turned whole swathes of this market toxic from the get-go today," the "Mad Money" host said. "One thing's for certain: any company with any exposure to the auto industry or the price of oil, for that matter — not to mention the strong dollar and the rising cost of transportation — will now be considered to be something that should be held for sale unless proven innocent."

Widely considered to be an economic proxy given its array of different end markets, PPG's weaker-than-expected earnings and forecast translated into the stark industrial sector weakness seen in Tuesday's trading session, Cramer said.

"I bet a whole host of industrials turn out to be a lot more like PPG than we'd want," he said, adding that he wasn't sure how news of activist firm Trian Partners' investment in PPG would affect the coatings maker's future.

"I don't know what will happen here with [Trian chief Nelson] Peltz and with PPG," Cramer said. "The company says it looks forward to maintaining a healthy dialogue. Me? I just wish its business were healthier."

Click here to read more about PPG.

Cramer gets a bit more cautious

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee July 17, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee July 17, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Cramer has been a stock market bull for a long time, but even he has moments when he gets a little bit cautious.

"Sometimes we need to do a little reassessment," he admitted on Tuesday. "I'm starting to get a tad concerned about the health of more and more industries here. The universe of potential winners does feel, at least to me, [like] it's getting smaller."

And while he insisted that this market moment is nowhere near as dire as, for example, the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, he did feel the need to reevaluate.

"Do not get me wrong. I'm saying this right up-front: I am not saying you should sell everything," he told investors. "If you've been saving up for your retirement by putting money in an S&P 500 index fund, something that everybody should do, you don't need to touch that position."

"But when it comes to a number of individual stocks, things have suddenly gotten a lot more risky," he said.

Click here to read more about why Cramer's getting cautious and how the Fed factors in.

Cramer's power ranking: Consumer discretionary

The reflection of shoppers are seen in a window at a TJ Maxx store in Peoria, Illinois. 
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The reflection of shoppers are seen in a window at a TJ Maxx store in Peoria, Illinois. 

Every sector of the stock market has its winners, and it's Cramer's job to help you find them. But sometimes, he finds it more helpful to look at a stock's power rather than its performance.

"All week we're rolling out power rankings for each sector of the stock market, just like how gamblers use power rankings to gauge the strength of football teams," Cramer said Tuesday.

"In stock market terms, your stock performance is like your record — it's great if you own something that's up big during the first nine months of the year, but past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future success," he said.

Hence, Cramer decided to unveil his power rankings for each stock market group. This time, he looked at the consumer discretionary space, which includes a host of non-essential goods and services like apparel, restaurants and entertainment.

Click here for his top five power plays.

Cramer's power ranking: Consumer staples

A customer browses goods at a Costco Wholesale store in New York.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer browses goods at a Costco Wholesale store in New York.

For his next sector breakdown, Cramer chose the consumer staples space, which includes makers of household needs like food, beverages and personal care products.

"As I keep telling you, the staples tend to get crushed when rates are rising," Cramer told investors. "But — and this is a might big but — if the Fed tightens too aggressively and ends up tipping this economy into a slowdown — what I'm really concerned about — you'll feel very foolish if you don't own any of these stocks."

In this market moment, all investors should stay diversified regardless of whether they believe that the Federal Reserve will cool the economy with its rate hikes, Cramer said.

Click here for his top 5 picks in the "safe" consumer staples space.

Off the charts: Investing around long-term interest rates

investment interest rates
Nikada | Getty Images

Cramer also recruited technician Rob Moreno, the publisher of RightViewTrading.com and Cramer's colleague at RealMoney.com, to get a better read on how investors should be looking at long-term interest rates — the ones the Fed doesn't really control.

"This market has three camps, three groups of money managers with very different worldviews," Cramer said.

In the first camp are investors who believe the Fed is doing the right thing by raising interest rates in lockstep, which will ultimately cause an economic slowdown and send long-term rates lower.

The second camp is made up of "inflationistas" who think inflation is raging, long-term rates are too low and the Fed isn't doing enough, Cramer said. The third camp houses people who think rates have already peaked and are going to go lower.

So, Cramer and Moreno laid out a plan for investors to take advantage of all three camps' views. By looking at past moves in the 20-year U.S. Treasury, Moreno found the general trends stock groups tend to follow when long-term rates move up, down or stay the same.

"Here's the bottom line: the charts ... suggest that you want to buy the soft goods stocks like Philip Morris if bond yields go lower and you want to buy the banks like Citi if they go higher, and you might even consider owning a homebuilder if they simply stabilize right here," Cramer concluded.

To watch the full "Off the Charts" segment, click here.

Lightning round: The defense stock you want

In Cramer's lightning round, he opined on some callers' favorite stocks:

Lockheed Martin Corp.: "I like defense, but I don't want you in Lockheed Martin. I want you to do Raytheon, because Lockheed Martin has already moved and Raytheon has lagged."

Abiomed, Inc.: "You know, we have loved those guys since the beginning of this show, and I have to tell you, I still think that device business and Intuitive Surgical — I'll throw that one in, too — are good."

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Citigroup and Raytheon.

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