Stop Trading!: What Paulson's Plan Means for Retail

The failure by Congress to pass Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s bailout plan could send the U.S. into a financial Stone Age, Cramer said during Tuesday’s Stop Trading!.

Retail in particular would take a big hit. Since Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and AIG needed an injection of capital from the government there’s been a “complete freeze” in spending, Cramer said. Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, GameStop and Philips-Van Heusen are “very vulnerable.”

Shoppers may still visit stores like Best Buy and Circuit City , but they’re buying the cheaper versions of the products they want. Consumers are trading down to more affordable outlets like Wal-Mart, which Cramer called a “gigantic buy…because people just feel very poor.”

Even if Paulson’s plan passes, Cramer said, September has been “the worst retail month in memory,” so these companies are hurting.

In oil and gas, Cramer favors Chesapeake Energy and Nabors, the latter because, despite a bad quarter, hasn’t gone up in tandem with the price of oil.

“That doesn’t seem right to me,” he said.

Jim's charitable trust owns Wal-Mart

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