Jim Cramer: Buy Stocks, Not Election Themes
Do we really have to start the fiscal cliff drumbeat immediately? Or can we just stipulate that at some point we will be down 1,000 Dow points, maybe more, before anyone acts to bridge it?
I want to approach the cliff discussion in three serial ways, the order that will define the stock market.
First, we had an election last night. It was definitive. There's no disputing Cleveland votes. There were no hanging chads in Florida. In fact, despite the big swath of red in your face, it wasn't even close. That's right, I repeat, it wasn't even close. The way election coverage unfolds is per se close, but let's just imagine that Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia closed at 7 p.m. and could tally instantly. We would have been in bed at 10 p.m. It's the way news is filtered that it seems so close. I wrote the lead story in the Harvard Crimson about how Mississippi put Carter over the top in the 1976 election. It seems silly right now, I mean, did Colorado put Obama over the top? Who cares? He went over the top by a wide electoral margin and you may hate that we use electorals but, as they say in sports, that's all she wrote.
Given that we have a resolution, we can't sniff at having a resolution. We are therefore better off than we were yesterday when there was plenty of news about how we won't have any resolution.
Second, given that we have seen this tableau before, like the last four years, we can't presume that we are going to see a wholesale repeal of prices. What's the point? The Romney boomlet, and that's what it was, impacted coal. It didn't even impact oil. There weren't a heck of a lot of stocks that ran in anticipation of a Romney surprise even as the Romney people on air at CNBC seemed mighty surprised and like Josey Wales in "The Outlaw" of the same name, they didn't want to believe the war was over and were still declaring victory.
Maybe they will sell their coal stocks today.
Third, the focus has to be on earnings, not fiscal cliff because fiscal cliff is that kind of binary, risk-on, risk-off garbage that people who don't want to do the homework on individual stocks get to throw out. How I wish I had that luxury, but I co-manage a charitable trust, have a lightening round and have prided myself not on saying "the national league will win the series," but on picking the team that does, because, ultimately, no one wagers on the National v. the American league except people who are too lazy to find out who is playing.