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US-China trade progress—Jim Cramer and experts on what comes next after phase one

Stocks rise after US and China sign 'phase one' trade deal—Here's what five experts say to watch
Stocks rise after US and China sign 'phase one' trade deal—Here's what five experts say to watch

The U.S. and China just signed a "phase one" trade deal.

Here's what five experts are watching now.

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," is looking at one particular group of stocks after the first leg of the deal.

"Our tariffs really didn't come down much at all with the expectation that China scratches our backs and we'll scratch theirs. I'd watch the credit card companies. Watch Visa and Mastercard. That's the easiest for them to turn on. Those companies have been waiting for it forever. It doesn't really hurt other companies in China. You got reference to the CEOs of both those companies. I think if you want to tell, so to speak, of what this deal really means, you've got to watch Visa, Mastercard."

Richard Bernstein, CIO of Richard Bernstein Advisors, is getting more bearish as the record rally pushes stocks to new highs.

"The point that I think people should be thinking about is as you go through the later stages of a bull market, do you buy into that bull market or do you sell into that bull market? We've just been lightening up as the market keeps going up and up and up despite fundamentals. I think most people would agree, fundamentals are not booming so why not sell into that kind of rally?"

Greg Hahn, president of Winthrop Capital Management, calls this a "reluctant rally."

"We see about 5% earnings growth in the S&P 500. With the current multiple we're probably at 3,300. ... We're still using fixed income in our asset allocation so that's our safety net, we're looking at a market that is fully valued, has fully discounted all of the good news that's out there. This was a reluctant rally for us. We participated in it but we're looking at this saying, 'This doesn't make sense.'"

David Lebovitz, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is going back to earnings and the fundamentals.

"I think that part of the reason that we've been a little bit guarded is because we really didn't get any new information. There were really no new surprises in what was finally signed, sealed and delivered yesterday. It was very much in the price and our view was that it was in the price and so rather than speculating on potential upside stemming from the deal which obviously didn't materialize, we were just more focused on the fundamentals -- 2% growth, what's going on with earnings, what's going on with wages and what's that impact on margins? As we kick off the fourth-quarter earnings season here I think the most important thing to keep an eye on is if you look at operating earnings, you're going to see a big bounce back. If you look at pro forma , it's going to be about flat. The big thing that we're looking at is what is guidance look like for 2020?"

Steven Milunovich, managing director at Wolfe Research, says the issues are more complex than this phase one deal has addressed.

"In terms of the trade situation, you know I know that China's supposed to put an action plan forward in terms of intellectual property protection and not forcing technology transfer but I'm a bit skeptical about that. These are some deep problems and after years of stealing IP I don't think they get fixed overnight but certainly in the short term I think it helps the market, it helps Trump's reelection prospects.