- "As someone who's always been in favor of cracking down on China, like the president, I think we still need to take" Home Depot CFO Carol Tome's "concerns to heart," CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
- "I hope the president takes this opportunity to make a deal while the Chinese are feeling the pain from our tariffs, but before we're getting the full impact on our side of the aisle," the "Mad Money" host says.
- "The last thing any president wants is a trade war-related recession as we head into an election year," he says.
The "Mad Money" host called the company the "perfect microcosm for the U.S. economy" and put his trust behind outgoing-Chief Finance Officer Carol Tome's perspective on the state of the market.
In a Tuesday morning conference call with investors, Tome, who is set to retire at the end of the month, said "consumer confidence is near record high levels" but "consumer demand could be impacted" by lingering U.S.-China trade tension.
Accounting for the potential impact of tariffs on consumer spending, Home Depot reduced its full-year sales growth outlook to 2.3% from 3.3%.
"As someone who's always been in favor of cracking down on China, like the president, I think we still need to take her concerns to heart," Cramer said, "and I hope the president takes this opportunity to make a deal while the Chinese are feeling the pain from our tariffs, but before we're getting the full impact on our side of the aisle."
Home Depot "made it clear," he argued, that the U.S. is ahead of China in the trade war, which began more than a year ago. Cramer based his reason on the number of suppliers that have moved operations outside of the country. Those firms have relocated some facilities to Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the U.S., which management says could reduce the impact of tariffs on Home Depot's same-store sales from 2% to 1%.
Home Depot's partners apparently aren't alone in this endeavor. More than 50 companies, including Apple, Nintendo and Dell, have shifted operations out of China to evade 25% tariffs that are in place on $200 billion of Chinese imports and the rate is increasing, CNBC reported last month. The U.S. is preparing to tack on another 10% tariff on $300 billion of remaining Chinese goods with some going to effect in September and the rest slated for December.
"Now, it seems to me that this would be the perfect time to make a deal with the Chinese, they need it more than we do and I say this as a big supporter of the president's tariffs," Cramer said, "but the last thing any president wants is a trade war-related recession as we head into an election year."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that he believes the trade war could come to a close by the 2020 presidential election, according to CNBC.
In its fiscal second-quarter report, Home Depot recorded earnings of $3.17 on revenue of $30.84 billion. Wall Street analysts expected $3.08 earnings per share and $30.99 billion revenue. Comparable store sales grew 3% from the year prior, missing estimates of 3.5%, which the store chain blamed on declining lumber prices.
Despite the mixed results, the stock jumped more than nine points to close above $217. Shares are up more than 26% this year.
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Home Depot and Apple.